Baton Rouge General offers COVID-19 antibody testing at 2 Express Care locations, several clinics

BRG now doing COVID-19 antibody testing to help research immunity, treatments for patients

BATON ROUGE, La. - Baton Rouge General (BRG) has announced that it is expanding its ability for antibody testing.

Officials said in addition to the two Express Care locations that began Wednesday, April 22, the tests are available as of Friday, May 1 at several Baton Rouge General Physicians (BRGP) Clinics.

Antibody testing determines if you’ve developed antibodies against the novel coronavirus after being infected, even if you had very mild symptoms or no symptoms at all.

Pricing for the test varies based on insurance coverage. The tests are available at the following BRGP Clinics:

BRGP Family Medicine - Livingston

13960 Florida Blvd.

Livingston, LA 70754

(225) 686-0158

BRGP Family Medicine - Denham Springs

1286 Del Este Ave.

Denham Springs, LA 70726

(225) 667-3100

BRGP - Bella Family Medical

8333 Goodwood Blvd.

Baton Rouge, LA 70806

(225) 272-0106

BRGP Family & Internal Medicine

5353 Florida Blvd.

Baton Rouge, LA 70806

(225) 367-4558

BRGP Family Medicine - Prairieville

17520 Old Jefferson Hwy.

Prairieville, LA 70769

(225) 673-8983

BRGP Family Medicine - Port Allen

610 North Jefferson St.

Port Allen, LA 70767

(225) 267-6626

Baton Rouge Family

8595 Picardy Ave., Suite 100

Baton Rouge, LA 70809

(225) 763-4900

Heal 360

10523 North Oaks Hills Pkwy.

Baton Rouge, LA 70810

(225) 763-4427

It is also available at two of BRG’s Express Care locations:

BRG Express Care - Highland Village

4410 Highland Road

Baton Rouge, LA 70808

(225) 831-4025

BRG Express Care - Dutchtown

13201 Highway 73, Suite 102

Geismar, LA 70734

(225) 673-2088

As of Friday, May 1, BRG officials said they had performed 644 antibody tests, with 4.8% of them confirmed positive. A positive test indicates that a person was likely infected with COVID-19 and that their body has produced antibodies, which are specific proteins made in response to infections.

“Antibodies are basically proteins and they’re proteins that your body makes to fight off what we call, say, an intruder," said Connie DeLeo, an infection prevention specialist at Baton Rouge General.

ONE-STOP-SHOP: Everything you need to know related to COVID-19

DeLeo says your body can produce antibodies, and all it takes is for doctors to draw some of your blood.

“The plasma will contain those antibodies, so there’s some experimental studies going on to see if that plasma with those antibodies can be used to help other people,” said DeLeo.

There are many different types of antibody tests available, but BRG is using the COR2G serology test developed by Mayo Clinic. After a small blood draw, the sample will be sent to the Mayo Clinic Laboratory to analyze for the presence of antibodies, which are specific proteins made in response to infections. A BRG provider will call with results within 48 hours.

We’ve seen people like New Orleans Saints Head Coach Sean Payton donate plasma to help COVID-19 patients, after he was already sick with the virus and recovered.

Antibody testing is best for those who experienced symptoms of COVID-19. Antibodies develop between eight and 14 days after the onset of symptoms, so it’s best to wait the full 14 days to be tested for the most accurate result.

“It does take your body about 10 to 14 days to produce antibodies, so you will want to make sure at least 10 to 14 days have passed since you either have been infected with COVID-19, had signs and symptoms of COVID-19, or if you think maybe you were exposed to someone who’s positive and you may have gotten the infection, but were asymptomatic. You still want to wait about 10 to 14 days since that exposure,” said DeLeo.

Basically, scientists are experimenting to see if that plasma could save lives.

“That’s why these studies that are going on with plasma and giving plasma to sick patients to really see if that antibody confers protective immunity and help to the individual who is sick, as well as really doing studies with vaccines and looking and seeing whether the antibodies that are produced are effective. These are questions that we still have scientifically," said Dr. Deborah Birx with the White House Coronavirus Task Force. “It’s getting us closer to treatments to vaccines, knowing what immunity means."

"We don’t know what that immunity means right now, we don’t know if that immunity is strong enough to help you not get re-infected,” said DeLeo.

There’s a lot about immunity with this virus that we won’t find out until this all passes. With or without the test, DeLeo urges everyone to continue social distancing and to wash their hands frequently.

Antibody testing is best for those who experienced symptoms of COVID-19. Antibodies develop between eight and 14 days after the onset of symptoms, so it’s best to wait the full 14 days to be tested for the most accurate result.

For more information, click here.

Click here to report a typo.

Copyright 2020 WAFB. All rights reserved.