Automated SARS-CoV-2 serological testing

Briefly about the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus

SARS-CoV-2 is a virus of the coronavirus family, which causes a disease called COVID-19, with varying severity, causing predominantly respiratory symptoms. Given that the disease is mainly spread through droplets (coughing, sneezing, contact with infected patients) and that you can be infected with no symptoms or with very mild symptoms, it is important to know if you have been infected before.

Serological testing to detect transmission

Automated testing for the detection of infection detects antibodies to the nucleocapsid and spike protein of the SARS-CoV-2 virus in blood. Blood levels of these antibodies begin to rise after acute infection and are most reliably detectable from day 21 after symptoms of infection. In contrast, polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing of a respiratory sample to detect direct detection of viral RNA is primarily used to confirm acute, ongoing infection.

Why is a SARS-CoV-2 serological test recommended?

The two quantitative automated tests performed by us detect antibodies against the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. In response to infection, our immune system produces various immunoglobulins, of which our two serological tests determine total IgM and IgG levels against nucleocapsid and spike protein. A serological test may be appropriate for people who have no symptoms (perhaps they have felt unwell or had milder symptoms before) but want to know if they have had the infection.

Another indication for the study is to confirm the presence of vaccine-induced SARS-CoV-2 antibody levels after the second vaccination. For Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines, it is recommended to ask for a test 10 days after the second vaccination, while for AstraZeneca, Sputnik V and Sinopharm it is recommended to ask for a test 2-3 weeks after the second vaccination.  

 What does an immuno-serology result mean?

1) If both the total Ig index value of the SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapsid (NC) and the total Ig titer of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein (S) are elevated compared to the cut-off value: You have most likely already had the infection. Hygiene rules, especially regular and thorough hand washing and the wearing of masks, are of course still essential. In addition, if you have received both Sinopharm vaccines, you will see an increase in both antibody levels as the vaccine contains a complete killed virus.

2) If only the total Ig level against SARS-CoV-2 spike protein is elevated, but the nucleocapsid antibody result is negative: You have not previously contracted the infection and the vaccine has triggered a detectable rise in antibody levels.

3) If both antibody titer results are negative: You do not currently have a humoral response to the infection or vaccine. In this case, a follow-up test is recommended after 1 month.

The screening will take place at an appointment arranged by telephone, so you will only meet the staff who will be taking part in the screening. Please note that you will be required to wear a surgical mask from the time you arrive for your examination. There are no restrictions before the examination, you can eat, drink and of course take your regular medication.

If you have a cough or fever, the serological test cannot be performed. If this is the case, you should always contact your GP, who will arrange for your care.

Before you enter the building, you will be asked to answer a questionnaire and your body temperature will be taken in a contactless way to ensure that no one suspected of having a coronavirus infection is allowed into the screening area.

The testing is carried out in strict compliance with current epidemiological and sterility regulations, using blood taken from a vein. The whole process takes approximately 20-30 minutes. You can receive a hard copy of the result the next day or we can send it to you electronically or you can download it from the EESZT service area at any time.

The cost of the test: HUF 11,000

Last update: 2023. 06. 29. 15:11