What are Antibodies?
Medical Coding Experts – Quick Claimers
You’ve likely heard a great deal about antibodies over the last year of the novel coronavirus pandemic. Antibodies have been discussed in connection with COVID-19, as scientists and medical professionals have looked for ways to use them to treat or prevent the disease. Read on for a brief overview of antibodies and why these are important to medical coding experts.
SO, WHAT ARE ANTIBODIES?
Antibodies are specialized, Y-shaped proteins that are naturally created inside the human body. They function to stop viruses from spreading and making people sick. Researchers are investigating these complex, but powerful molecules a lot right now as they try to address COVID-19 because antibodies can recognize viruses present in the body as foreign invaders; they bind to parts of the virus and send a signal of sorts to block entry by the virus into an infected person’s cells. This can help prevent a virus from emerging at all or prevent an active virus from developing further and causing greater harm.
Antibodies are part of the adaptive immune system of the human body. (The adaptive immune system is the branch of the immune system that gathers biological information about foreign pathogens in order to recognize and eliminate those pathogens when they attack the body.) They target foreign invaders like viruses (as well as bacteria, fungi, or parasites), called antigens. When antibodies find their target antigens in the body, they bind to them. This binding triggers the body to take action against the virus to protect itself.
A FEW WORDS ABOUT ANTIBODY TESTING
Antibody tests can help identify people who may have been infected with a virus, such as the novel coronavirus, or have recovered from a viral infection like COVID-19. Antibody tests are used to detect whether the body has produced a specific quantity of an antibody to a specific antigen; if detectable amounts of that antibody are present, it can reveal whether a person has been infected by that virus in the past.
Usually, antibody tests are given several weeks after someone is first exposed to a pathogen. This is because people usually only test positive after the body has had enough time to build up enough antibodies in response to the antigens (usually two weeks or more). In the case of COVID-19, antibody tests expose what is referred to as the spike protein of the novel coronavirus, revealing whether someone has had COVID-19 in the past.
Quick Claimers Medical Billing is a professional medical coding and billing company based in El Paso, Texas. Quick Claimers Medical Billing is committed to providing effective medical coding and billing solutions to healthcare professionals to support productivity and payment, especially as the COVID-19 pandemic persists and changes. The experienced team of medical coding and billing specialists at Quick Claimers will organize and process the healthcare claims for your practice with accuracy and efficiency, to ensure that you receive appropriate payment for all the services you provide, including COVID-19 testing and vaccinations. If you would like more information about what services Quick Claimers has to offer to help your healthcare practice, please don’t hesitate to contact Quick Claimers Medical Billing online or by phone at 915-351-6600.