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What do antibody results mean to me as a CLL patient?

This content was current as of the date it was released. In science and medicine, information is constantly changing and may become out-of-date as new data emerge.

Ask the Lab Scientist Question:

I was asked to have a lab sample drawn for COVID-19 antibodies three weeks after the Pfizer booster I had received as an immunocompromised person. I’ll be doing this soon under the study sponsored by LLS.

I understand that the result range is 0.8-250 for the antibody result. What do these results mean to me as a CLL patient and a participant in the LLS study? I certainly hope it is higher than my last result of 10.

Answer: The SARS-CoV2- Semi-quant Total Ab (“Spike Antibody”) shows whether there has been a response to the vaccine. If the Semi-quant Total Ab number is <0.80, there was no response. If the Semi-Quantitative Total Ab number is >0.80, there was a response to the vaccine.

It is important to take into consideration that the maximum value for the spike antibody response can be upwards of 2,500. So, the 2,500 value is clearly greater than yours which was at 10. While we know that the greater the number equates to more antibodies, at this time we do not fully understand if a lower antibody value equates to a lesser level of protection should you become infected with COVID. It’s true that some immunity is better than no immunity at all, but your low count is unfortunately not ideal.

CLL Society is still urging everyone with CLL, regardless of your vaccine and/or antibody status, to continue wearing a mask in all situations. Also, please continue to adhere closely to social distancing, and keep up with diligent hand hygiene efforts, especially now that the general population is unmasking more and more lately.

The true interpretation of the Spike antibody test will become known over time as we learn the association between these results and how it correlates to the chance of still getting infected with COVID in the near future. There are currently many researchers with expertise in blood cancer who are looking at this very subject and performing studies. We should be hearing more about this subject in the coming months.