What Is the ELISA Testing Window Period?

The ELISA testing window period is the period of time between the occurrence of an infection and the buildup of detectable antibodies in the blood. It ranges from four to six weeks for most people.

"ELISA" stands for enzyme-linked immuno assay. It is a common laboratory test used to detect antibodies in the blood.

During the ELISA testing window period, an ELISA test for an infection, such as HIV, may turn up a false negative, meaning that it may show a patient to be free of infection when they are actually infected. This is because the human body takes several weeks to begin building up antibodies against an infection and it takes time for these antibodies to finally show up in an ELISA test.