The seroconversion period is a time during which a person who has
an infection does not test positive for it. This period occurs before a person
has produced a high enough number of antibodies for a test to detect the
Antibodies are proteins made by the body's natural defense system
(immune system) to attack and destroy foreign substances, such as bacteria and
viruses. The seroconversion period is also called the antibody development
The length of the seroconversion period depends on the type of
infection. For example, with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), the
seroconversion period is usually between 1 and 3 months, although it can be as short
as 2 weeks or as long as 6 months. During the seroconversion period, an
infected person can transmit the disease or condition even if he or she does
not have signs of the infection.
April 5, 2012
E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Peter Shalit, MD, PhD - Internal Medicine
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