As the covid 19 death toll has been increasing exponentially worldwide for the past few months, more people are now aware of the importance of getting them tested with the best and most accurate covid 19 test. However, there are many types of covid 19 test available as health screening currently in many clinics and testing centres. Which one of them is the best and yields the most accurate results?
Continue reading the article to know more about the type of covid 19 tests available and its accuracy in detecting the deadly infectious disease.
- Molecular test (Reverse Transcriptase – Polymerase Chain Reaction)
This diagnostic test is considered as one of the best and most accurate covid 19 testing practiced worldwide. It detects the virus genetic material and may take up to a day to reveal the results. You might be required to take this test if you have any close contacts or if you are currently having signs and symptoms of covid 19 infection like flu, fever and shortness of breath.
Apart from that, you will be also asked to do this test before entering a college or a workplace to prove you are free from the virus. The molecular test uses nasopharyngeal, oropharyngeal swab and saliva tests to obtain samples to be tested. However, currently there are home test kits available and said to be equally effective in detecting the virus as patients are taught properly on the ways to obtain the sample which seems to be more comfy to use at your own home.
- Antigen test (Rapid Test Kit – Ag)
This diagnostic test is termed “rapid” because the results can be obtained way faster than the PCR test earlier. It uses the similar method by taking nasopharyngeal or oropharyngeal swabs and sending them to the laboratory for evaluation. It might take only up to an hour to get your results, thus it is commonly used as test methods in mass sampling centres like airports.
This diagnostic test is highly accurate and equivalent to the molecular test. However, there are many false negative reports made previously which makes you take the molecular test afterwards to confirm your infection status. False negative results simply means active cases of covid 19 infection are missed. The rapid antigen test is fairly cheaper compared to the molecular and antibody test.
- Antibody test (serology test or blood test)
Antibodies are proteins produced by your immune cells after an infection counter. These antibodies against the covid 19 are detected through this antibody test. So, is it recommended for active screening of covid 19 infection? No, it’s not. Antibody test is only used to decide if you ever had the infection in your past, and that even if you had symptoms about a month ago.
Antibody tests are done by taking some blood either by finger prick or from your veins and sending them to the laboratory for assessment. It might take up to a day for your results to come out even if some newer research and studies suggest a shorter duration of tests are currently available for trials. Do antibodies detected in your blood show that you are immune to the infection? Well, there are no current studies or research that exactly proves the statement.
In summary, although there are many types of covid 19 tests available, you have to first identify your indications to carry out the test. Next, you must choose the best test for you, you can always consult your doctor or nurse for further clarification and advice. Read up some articles on steps to be taken before the test to keep yourself calm and prepared for the test.