Cov-19 Testing Facts

According to WHO testing is required for all cov-19 suspected cases of countries.

Test is used for different purposes such as identifying outbreak/infection trends investigation and case finding to reduce the risk of spreading the virus among the public by limiting the contacts of virus cases.

There are three types of Cov-19 testing:

1- Nucleic Acid Amplification Testing

This test detects genetic material of the virus.

RT-PCR is the reference method for detecting Sars-CoV-2 infection.

Testing Organ:  Upper respiratory specimens

Used for: Acute Sars-CoV-2 infection

Results:  Usually within 24 hours

Test Duration:  30 minutes to 4 hours

2- Antigen Test (Antigen Rapid Test)

This test takes a sample of saliva or nasal tubes to detect viral proteins (nucleoprotein). The test kit can be used at home or anywhere and does not require the laboratory engagement.

The Ag-RDT test has %80 sensitivity and %97 specificity and in comparison with other Sars tests it can be used easily and independently. It can detect the virus infection within a short time. 

Ag-RDTs can be used for testing the symptomatic persons even if it’s not specified for this purpose.

Performance best time is within the first 5-7 days of symptoms. 

Testing Organ: Upper respiratory specimens or saliva

Diagnose: Acute Sars-CoV-2 infection

Results: Available within 15-30 minutes 

RG-RDT is known as a primary case detection tool in following 4 purposes:

1- Case Finding: to find the infected ones in a group or community where the contacts are inevitable or there is an ongoing transmission.

2- Contact Tracing: To identify where the virus is transferred after contacts of cases.

3- Outbreak Investigation: To confirm suspected outbreak between high risk communities such as schools, dormitories, prisons, care-homes and workplaces.

4- Monitor Trending: To monitor trends in disease incidence in communities, particularly among frequently exposed ones ignoring the symptoms.

3- Antibody Testing

This test detects antibodies against the virus. It uses serum/plasma or whole blood specimens to detect antibodies generated by prior Sars-CoV-2 infection or vaccination. 

Best performance time: 1-2 weeks after infection or vaccination

Test Duration: 10-30 minutes

Results: Within 24 hours


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