As we are now heading towards the start of year two of the global Covid-19 pandemic, one thing
that is constantly spoken of is testing. Most people have had some form of testing. With so many different tests out there that all claim to have some efficiency at determining whether people are infected with coronavirus or not, you may not actually know much about what makes them all different.
In this blog post, we want to clear up some of the mystery.
There are two main kinds of Covid-19 tests that are actively used, there are two diagnostic tests, antigen, and molecular tests, and these are designed to identify active infections.
Let’s look at these in closer detail.
Molecular tests, such as the Polymerase Chain Reaction Test (PCR), involve either a swab taken from the throat or nasal passage or by testing saliva or other bodily fluids. What is the purpose of these tests? They look for any evidence of the genetic material of coronavirus in the body.
While it is true that have a low rate of what are known as false-positive results, that is, when the test says you have coronavirus, but you don’t, they also have a higher rate of false-negative results, which states that the test says you don’t have coronavirus when in reality you do.
The best option for PCR tests is the deep nasal swap that takes material from the very back of your nose, close to your throat. This is because there is likely to be a higher volume of viral material at that area of your body than other parts.
PCR Tests are incredibly sensitive, which enables them to detect with great accuracy that you have coronavirus. One of the issues with general PCR tests, though, is that they can be very uncomfortable, and the results can often take anything from a few hours or even days to come through, depending where you get your test administered.
Another form of diagnostic testing, antigen tests are also administered using throat or nasal swabs and these are designed to determine if there are any proteins, known as antigens, present in your body from coronavirus. The interesting thing that you may not have realised is that if you have ever had a pregnancy test, you are familiar with antigen tests.
The antigen test, in general, is normally a lot less expensive than others, and takes the least amount of time to deliver results. One of the major problems with them, however, is that although they are normally very accurate tests for positive virus results, you may need a molecular test in order to identify if a person is negative because antigen tests return a higher rate of false-negative results.
At Pure Testing, if you are interested in having either the PCR Test or Antigen Test, you can book either with them. They are administered very quickly and return quicker results than other places.