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Can both virus and antibody be undetectable?
Sep 11, 2001

Dear Doctor Holodniy, I really hope that you would answer my question this time-I desperately want to know! On 34 day after a possible exposure, I had a PCR RNA test and a antibody test-the former came out undetectable(<50/ml),and the latter non reactive. But since I started having symptoms 10 days after the incident and the symptoms keep coming and going for a long time (I'm still tired and having different symptoms now after more than 2 months),it makes me wonder: if one is infected, could there be any time, such as 34 days after exposure, or any factor which can make neither the virus nor the antibody to be undetectable? Shouldn't at least one of the two be detected when both tests were used - 34 days maybe a little too early for antibosy test, but shouldn't the PCR pick up the virus? Or, Could it be that the virus was too few to be detected at certain time?

I have another question about the antibody test - because of miscommunication between the doc and the Quest where the tests were done, the antibody test wasn't performed untill 8 days after the apecimen was drawn - can this test be reliable?

THank you so much, doctor!

Response from Dr. Holodniy

As long as samples are handled appropriately (ie frozen) they can sit for months and still be tested effectively.



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