Test method of choice:swab test using PCR

The PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test is the most common and so far most reliable method to test people for coronavirus. This involves taking mouth, throat or nasal swabs, extracting the RNA and then examining it for sections of the coronavirus genome. PCR tests are evaluated in the laboratory within 24 hours and are considered particularly reliable.

Duration until test result: 24h

In very urgent cases (e.g. for air travel), please inform us of the express claim at sekretariat@infektiologie.tirol.

Test method of choice: Sequence analysis

By means of sequence analysis, the entire genome in a throat swab can be read out and assigned to a specific phylogenetic clade. It is the most reliable method for identifying a so-called Variant of Concern.

Duration until test result: 3 – 10 days

Test method of choice: Neutralisation test

What is the neutralisation test?

In this special form of immunity determination, a complex, labour-intensive procedure is used to examine whether the antibodies of the respective patient are able to neutralise the virus, i.e. prevent it from entering the cells. All it takes is a single blood sample and a few days of patience. The neutralisation test provides more reliable information about the actual individual immune status than common antibody tests and may only be carried out in safety level 3 laboratories, such as the Dr Walder laboratory.

The test clarifies two crucial questions:

  • Was I infected with SARS-CoV-2?
  • Am I immune to SARS-CoV-2?

Duration until test result: 3 – 7 days

Test method of choice: T-cell test (ELISpot)

In addition to the detection of specific and ideally also neutralising antibodies, which are assigned to the B cell-mediated immune response, there is another examination method that provides crucial information about the second branch of immunity, namely the T cell-mediated one. This is examined classically, also in our laboratory using ELISpot. The T-cells often continue to form a reliable defence front even after the antibodies have slowly degraded back below the detection limit over time. The ELISpot method presents T cells with a specific antigen and measures their response to it. For this, the cells must be alive and here lies the difficulty in the methodology. The whole blood used for this must be as fresh as possible; the leukocytes perceive every hour outside the body as a strain. Therefore, the success of the ELISpot cannot be 100% guaranteed, but in case of non-performance, the money is returned. We test with CE-certified specific SARS-CoV antigen and in parallel with PanCorona antigen to exclude possible cross-reactivity with endemic human nonSARS coronaviruses.

Duration until test result: 3 – 7 days

Test method of choice: antibody test

In classical antibody tests, the presence of specific antibodies is examined by means of ELISA or CLIA test, which – regardless of the level – stands for a passed infection or a successful vaccination and for a long-lasting protection. We examine two different classes of antibodies – IgG and IgM. IgG stands for an infection or vaccination that occurred some time ago, while IgM is a diagnostic marker for the fact that the immune system is still in the acute phase of an infection or that the vaccination took place only a short time ago. IgM generally degrade again a few weeks after initial contact with the pathogen, while IgG sometimes circulate in the blood for many years to maintain specific immune protection.
(Ig = Immunglobuline)

Duration until test result: 1 – 5 days

In very urgent cases (e.g. IgM test for entry into China), we ask you to inform us of the express request at sekretariat@infektiologie.tirol

Test method of choice: antibody test

In classical antibody tests, the presence of specific antibodies is examined by means of ELISA or CLIA test, which – regardless of the level – stands for a passed infection or a successful vaccination and for a long-lasting protection. We examine two different classes of antibodies – IgG and IgM. IgG stands for an infection or vaccination that occurred some time ago, while IgM is a diagnostic marker for the fact that the immune system is still in the acute phase of an infection or that the vaccination took place only a short time ago. IgM generally degrade again a few weeks after initial contact with the pathogen, while IgG sometimes circulate in the blood for many years to maintain specific immune protection.
(Ig = Immunglobuline)

Duration until test result: 1 – 5 days

Test method of choice: Antibody analysis

This analysis combines the neutralisation test with the subsequent immunoblot procedure, which determines the extent to which the antibodies are present and against which epitopes they are directed. The immunoglobulin groups IgG and IgA are tested, against the epitopes spike 1 (S1), receptor-binding domain (RBD stand-alone), spike 2 (S2), nucleocapsid (N), as well as against the nonSARS coronaviruses 229E, NL63, OC43, HKU1 to determine possible cross-reactivities. The comprehensive analysis provides a very clear picture of the humoral defence front against SARS-CoV-2 and allows deductions to be made about the extent to which serological protection is maintained and when re-testing is necessary. We recommend this test in case of unclear or contradictory findings.

Duration until test result: 1 – 7 days