SYNLAB adopts a new coronavirus antibodies detection method

From today, SYNLAB Eesti laboratory has adopted a new coronavirus antibody detection method, which is more precise than the previous method and also allows it to detect post-vaccination antibody formation.

Samples for the new antibody test can be given at SYNLAB from today, and in the next few days this will be rolled out at other health care providers across Estonia. The test can also be ordered from family doctors. As the name of the new analysis – quantitative antibody analysis – suggests, the result gives a precise level of coronavirus antibodies.

It is necessary to take a blood test for the laboratory antibody analysis. The blood sample can be given at blood collection points. The results are received from the laboratory by the next working day at the latest.

Dr Paul Naaber, Head of Infectious Disease Diagnostics at SYNLAB Eesti, explains: “In two to three weeks after recovering from coronavirus infection, antiviral antibodies are formed in the blood, indicating the body’s response to the virus. Similarly, antibodies are formed sometime after vaccination. Based on current research, antibodies are present in the body for at least six months; however, further scientific research may yield more precise results very soon. Until now, the most common coronavirus antibodies detected have been type IgG and type IgM antibodies, and the general recommendation has been to detect them together. The new and more precise quantitative method yields sufficient results by detecting only one type of antibodies – IgG –, which are usually formed on the second week after the onset of symptoms. In addition, the quantitative analysis not only determines the presence of antibodies like the earlier test; it also defines their precise level in blood.”

It is recommended to take the new quantitative IgG antibody test no sooner than three weeks after the onset of symptoms, a positive coronavirus test result or vaccination. A positive antibody test result indicates that a person has either contracted and recovered from the infection caused by coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, has a late-stage COVID-19 disease or has developed antibodies due to vaccination. The antibody test is not suitable for primary diagnosis of the disease; this is done using the PCR test taken from the nasopharynx.

For healthcare service providers, the price of the coronavirus antibodies lab test is 13.21 euros (health insurance fund code 66708). For private persons, the cost of coronavirus antibodies detection panel used to be 31 euros; however, the new and more precise quantitative full-service analysis costs only 14.40 euros, to which the fee for blood test is added.

The test results are displayed in the patient portal under the coronavirus test results catalogue.