Our offer includes the following laboratory tests:
- molecular biological SARS-Cov-2 testing (COVID-19 RT PCR) from throat swab material or gargling solutions for screening purposes, contact tracing or in suspected cases
- Immunochromatographic lateral flow assay (COVID -19 antigen rapid test) for the detection of SARS-Cov-2 antigen in suspected cases from throat swab material
- Serological detection (ECLIA) for SARS-Cov-2 antibodies (IgG) from serum / plasma, which provides information on a previous COVID-19 infection or on the effect of immunization (vaccination). In this test neutralizing antibodies are measured.
The service of the PCR or antigen test includes the professional taking of a throat swab by colleagues from the Course Health and Nursing, laboratory analysis in the test laboratory and electronic reporting (always in German and English) to the client by the laboratory staff. Our PCR results are usually sent to you within 12-36 hours (express service – report within 4 hours is possible for an additional fee) and are suitable for submission to the health authority. The result of the antigen test is available within approx. 20 minutes. The antigen tests must also be performed by a healthcare professional.
Since June it is possible for employees and students of the Carinthia University of Applied Sciences to admit themselves to at test in our laboratory in the event of a suspected case, but also as a precaution, for example after a stay abroad (e.g. from a risk area). Also external persons (private individuals) have the opportunity to order COVID-19 tests in our laboratory for a fee. For companies, sports clubs or educational institutions we also offer pool testing (Covid-19 PCR test in a pooling procedure from 10 persons). For information please contact us at: testung[at]fh-kaernten[dot]at.
Collection times (only with an appointment):
- Mon-Fri 08:00-09:00 am
- Evening appointments are variable, see booking system
Please book your desired appointment in our appointment booking tool. Sample collection takes place at the FH campus St. Veiterstrasse 47 in 9020 Klagenfurt. Please don't forget to bring a photo ID for identification as well as the QR-Code (printed version or on your mobile device) you receive from us after signing in to your account.
- COVID-19-PCR-test (reference method, 12-30 h): 70.00 EUR (no VAT to be payed)
- COVID-19-PCR-test (express service, 4 h): 95.00 EUR (no VAT to be payed)
- COVID -19-Ag test (rapid antigen test): 20 EUR (no VAT to be payed)
- COVID-19-Serologie (ECLIA IgTotal, quantitative = with titer indication up to 250 U/ml): 20,00 EUR (no VAT to be payed)
- COVID-19-Serologie (ECLIA IgTotal, quantitative = with titer indication above 250 U/ml): 28,00 EUR (no VAT to be payed)
Only cash payment possible! 200 Euro banknotes may not be accepted.
Note: in Austria, as in most other countries, only the PCR test is officially approved to be able to avoid quarantine. The rapid antigen test does currently meet this requirement only partly, please inform yourself about the current regulations in the country/for the service you need the confirmation from your COVID test. Our PCR/antigen laboratory reports are recognized by the authorities in Austria and the EU. Your passport number and or citizenship information will be included in the laboratory report if you provide them in your account.
In the Biomedical Science Course under the direction of FH-Professor Dr. rer. medic. Marco Kachler (Head of Degree Program) and FH-Professor Dr. rer. nat. Astrid Paulitsch-Fuchs (molecular and microbiologist), a COVID-19 test laboratory was established at the Carinthia University of Applied Sciences. The laboratory has been officially approved in accordance with Section 28c of the Epidemic Act in May 2020 and has been carrying out COVID-19 tests since then. The COVID-19 tests are carried out exclusively by scientifically qualified biomedical analysts and are professionally validated according to the four-eyes principle.
The PCR test for the SARS-Cov-2 (COVID -19) coronavirus is a direct detection of virus RNA obtained from human cell material using a throat swab. In order to be able to detect virus RNA from the throat swab, a sufficient amount of cell material must be swabbed from the back of the throat wall. The more cell material is obtained, the more virus RNA is present in the cell material in the event of an infection, which can then also be detected. The virus RNA is isolated from the cell material in the laboratory under safety conditions and the genetic information of the virus is detected in a molecular biological process called Real Time PCR. If we detect specific genetic material from the virus in the sample material, the test is positive, i.e. there is an infection with SARS-Cov-2. If virus RNA is not detected, the test is negative (below the detection limit). Our laboratory method has a detection limit of approx. 10 virus RNA particles in the PCR. Two options are available for PCR testing. Either the samples are taken directly from us on the FH campus by our professional health and nursing team or the swab samples (oropharynx or nasopharyx swabs) that have been professionally taken externally (e.g. by doctors, DGKP, biomedicals) are sent in for analyses at the COVID-19 test laboratory. We currently have a weekly test capacity of approx. 250 individual tests (up to 800 tests for pool samples).
In contrast to PCR, in which the virus RNA is detected, a virus-specific protein (nucleocapsid protein from SARS-Cov-2) is detected using an immunochromatographic method as a lateral flow assay when antigen detection is used. For this you also need nasopharyngeal swab material. The manufacturer designed the test as a quick test so that a result is available within 15-20 minutes. However, the test is not as sensitive as the PCR, which is why it cannot yet replace the standard PCR method. For certain questions, however, it can be useful to carry out a quick test. We currently only carry out the antigen detection according to a medical indication and on a physicians request.
The PCR test is not suitable for determining whether a SARS-Cov-2 infection has been experienced in the past. We have established an immunological test (ECLIA) for this, which tells us whether or not someone has already had COVID-19 infection. This test for antibodies of the IgG class against COVID-19 is also available in the test laboratory of the Carinthia University of Applied Sciences. For this analysis, a small amount of blood has to be collected from a vein and the blood-serum is then analyzed in our laboratory. The test measures neutralizing antibodies which are not only a reaction to an infection but also to a vaccination.
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Dear interested party,
You have the possibility to have a determination for neutralizing antibodies against SARS-Cov-2 carried out in our laboratory. For this purpose, we use an automated ECLIA test from Roche Diagnostics as standard, which, according to the manufacturer's information, also detects neutralizing antibodies, but not exclusively and it is not possible to check the biological effect of the neutralizing antibodies. However, if an antibody titer of > 15 U/ml (corresponds to > 15 BAU/ml) is present in the ROCHE-ECLIA test, it can be assumed on the basis of the study situation that neutralizing antibodies (depending on the level of the titer) have been detected (the higher the more). This would meet the requirements for exemption from mandatory testing by antigen or PCR test (according to the current status 15.05.2021).
Note on the ECLIA test: we only measure the blood sample undiluted, i.e. the maximum measuring range is 250 U/ml. If the antibody titers are greater than 250 U/ml, the laboratory report will state ">250 U/ml". Dilution of the sample (titration) is currently not performed, as there is no scientific evidence to date.
For a reliable statement whether sufficient protective neutralizing antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 (e.g. after vaccination or COVID disease) are present, the so-called neutralization test can provide findings, since only these neutralizing antibodies are detected by this test. The neutralization test thus provides information about the actual neutralization capacity, i.e. it is determined whether biological neutralization can actually take place through the antibodies present. In addition, the neutralization test also records the effect against the most important virus mutants in the spike protein.
We have established the cPass neutralization test in our laboratory since 03.05.2021, but offer the test exclusively as part of step diagnostics, as the performance is significantly more resource-intensive. The neutralization test secures the findings of the ECLIA test. We can therefore provide you with this additional information upon request.
We particularly recommend the neutralization test to all those who have a titer in the ECLIA test (ROCHE Diagnostics) of ≤ 30 U/ml.
Both results of a positive SARS-CoV- 2 neutralization test (values > 30%) and the anti-SARS-CoV-2 ECLIA test (values > 15 U/ml) meet the criteria according to the BMSGPK's Note to the Requirements "Determination of Low Epidemiologic Risk." However, the ECLIA test has an uncertain range between 15-30 U/ml, so we strongly recommend verification by neutralization test.
Cost of neutralization test:
For the determination for antibodies by means of the neutralization test, costs in the amount of 40 EUR have to be paid.
Registration for the neutralization test:
However, the neutralization test is only performed in our laboratory if antibodies have already been detected by another suitable test. If this is the case, you can book a test appointment for an ECLIA test (detection of neutralizing antibodies) online via the booking portal and notify the blood collection person directly of the change to a neutralization test (you will then pay 40 EUR instead of 20 EUR). However, you must provide an existing laboratory report for this purpose. For capacity reasons, we do not currently perform a primary analysis by means of a neutralization test.
If a positive or weakly positive result is determined in the primary analysis in the ECLIA test, we can perform a retest from the same sample by means of a neutralization test after consultation with the submitting party (additional costs 35 EUR). In case of negative ECLIA test results, a neutralization test is usually not indicated. For resource reasons, we therefore do not perform it at present.
Note on neutralization capacity and test exemption:
If neutralizing antibodies (either by ECLIA test as surrogate test > 15 U/ml or cPass neutralization test > 30%) were detected in your case, this information will be explicitly noted on the laboratory report. Thus, according to the current status, you meet the requirements for exemption from mandatory testing according to the notice of the Ministry of Social Affairs (BMSGPK) of March 2021. Our samples of findings are coordinated with the sanitary authority of the province of Carinthia regarding the designation of neutralization capacity.
The exemption is valid in the presence of neutralizing antibodies according to the current regulation situation 3 months beginning with the date of blood collection.
Dr. Kachler, Laboratory Management