Test information

IgM and IgG Antibodies

Both IgM and IgG are immunoglobulins produced by the immune system to provide protection against 2019-nCoV. Some patients with negative results in nucleic acid tests show a positive IgM test, which indicates that IgG / IgM detection is one of the effective methods for diagnosing 2019-nCoV.

The level of IgM antibodies begins to rise about a week after the individual is infected, while IgG production starts later than IgM (usually about 14 days after infection) and can last for 6 months or even several years, which means that IgG acts as a indicator of previous infection. Patients suspected of being infected with 2019-nCoV can be quickly identified by simultaneous monitoring of IgM and IgG. During the outbreak period 2003-SARS and 2016-Zika, IgM / IgG antibody detection was used as one of the recommended diagnostic methods.

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The test can give different answers

Three lines can appear on the test - C-line (control line) which indicates that the test has been performed correctly. The IgM line (acute antibodies) and the IgG line (memory antibodies) 

1. IgM negative, IgG negative - Indicates that there is no infection with Covid-19, or that there is not a high enough concentration of antibodies to give a rash.

2. IgM positive, IgG positive - Indicates an ongoing infection with Covid-19.
See interpretation under point 4.

3. IgM positive, IgG negative - Indicates an ongoing infection with Covid-19. A new test is recommended in 14 days to confirm the presence of IgG.

4. IgM negative, IgG positive - Indicates a history of infection with Covid-19.

The test result must be interpreted together with your symptom picture in order to provide an overall assessment.

Regardless of test results, it is of the utmost importance to follow the Public Health Agency's general advice and recommendations.

At present, it has not been determined what degree of protection a positive IgG response provides or how long any antibody protection lasts.

A positive answer must not lead you to stop following the protective measures that the Swedish Public Health Agency recommends to reduce the spread of infection.