It’s 2021, and we are still in the COVID-19 pandemic. There’s a lot of doubt about COVID-19 tests and their types. There are two types of tests to diagnose the COVID-19 virus – an Antigen test and a PCR test (aka molecular test). Let’s find out how they work and how they are effective to detect the infection.
What is Molecular Diagnostics?
Consider “Molecular Diagnostics” as an umbrella term covering several diagnostic tests to check a patient’s health at a molecular level. It helps measure and detect the genetic sequences in RNA (ribonucleic acid) and DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) or their proteins.
Molecular diagnostics in Gurgaon are done to identify the RNA, gene, and protein changes that help determine whether a patient has a disease is prone to have a disease, or whether a specific treatment option can work disease. These tests are also able to quantify and identify any bacteria, virus, or cellular types. Molecular diagnostics is being improved day by day with constant technology innovation.
Why is the Antibody Test Recommended?
Serology test or antibody test has been proven highly effective after complete recovery from Coronavirus. As per the availability, the eligibility of the test varies. Your blood sample is collected by a healthcare professional, usually by drawing from a vein or by a finger prick. They will test the sample to find out whether antibodies have been developed to fight the virus. Antibodies are proteins that can clean up and fight the infection, and the immune system produces them.
If antibodies are found in your body, it shows that COVID-19 may have affected you in the past. It also shows that you have developed an immunity. But there is still no evidence that these antibodies can protect against COVID-19 in the future. It is not easy to tell how long it will last.
However, the type and timing of antibody tests may give a lot of details. The antibodies may not be detected if you go for tests too early. Your body might still be developing an immune response. The best part of antibody tests is that people can donate plasma after getting recovered from COVID-19. Doctors may use this plasma to treat other people with severe infections and improve the ability to combat the virus.Tests Recommended for COVID-19
- PCR Test: Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) is a technique used to detect the genetic material of COVID-19 in this molecular test. A healthcare professional collects a fluid sample through a throat swab or nasal swab. A saliva sample can also be used when you have to spit in a tube. If a sample is analyzed onsite, results can be provided in a few days. It may take a few days if the sample has to be sent to another lab. When it is done properly, PCR tests can be very accurate.
- Antigen Test: In this test, some proteins found in the virus are tested. Antigen tests can provide results in a few minutes with a nasal swab. Sometimes, samples are sent to the lab. Guidelines are followed strictly in a positive antigen test. Hence, its results also come to be accurate. Sometimes, there is a risk of a false negative. It means a person may get a negative result even if they are infected. Hence, a PCR test is also recommended to confirm the result of a negative antigen test.
COVID-19 test kits are also authorized for emergency use at home. It means anyone can collect their own nasal fluid or saliva sample at home. A doctor’s prescription is recommended for such tests. But there is always a risk of getting false negatives and accuracy varies in this test. If you are looking for a COVID test kit, be sure it is approved by the health department in your area or authorized by a leading healthcare organization.
How Antibody and Diagnostic Tests can be helpful to Control the Spread of Infection?
People can quickly get treatment and avoid further complications when they are found positive with COVID-19 tests. Quarantine measures, contact-tracing, and self-isolation, can be done sooner than later. But as discussed earlier, no test can be 100% accurate. There are chances that an infected person may be found negative (false-negative) or a person who is not infected can be found positive (false-positive). So, we need to follow all the COVID-19 guidelines like wearing a mask and practicing social distancing until we get further notice. These antibody tests’ results can be the sign of a number of infected people and recovery. It helps to figure out who might have developed an immunity.
How to Get a COVID-19 Antibody or Diagnostic Test Done?
You can contact your state or local health department. You can also ask your doctor and discuss your symptoms. After preparing for an appointment, you may visit your nearby diagnostic center for molecular diagnostics.
Book an online appointment for Covid-19 RT-PCR & antibody tests at MDRC India, one of the best diagnostics centers in Gurgaon. Also, get home sample collection and doctor consultation.