Things to Know About PCR, Antibody, & Antigen Tests


As the second wave of the Coronavirus is going on, the death tolls increase day by day. Since the vaccination has not reached the masses yet, testing is still the only way to contain the spread of COVID-19 pandemic.

Testing has tremendous value when it comes to restricting the spread of the Coronavirus. Moreover, a negative report is needed to join your work, travel, or have any other medical procedures in most places.

If you have any symptoms or you need a negative report, you must look for COVID 19 testing sites as soon as possible. Before that, here are some things you need to know about the kinds of test available right now.

Available Tests

The type of tests that are available right now are:

1. RT-PCR Test: PCR checking is called the “gold standard.” In particular, this test recognizes RNA (or genetic material) unique to the virus and can identify the virus, including those without symptoms, within days of infection.

In a laboratory, hospital, or even in the vehicle, the procedure can be performed. But the results can come out in as little as 24 hours. Results took even a week or higher when the demand was high. Now it is taking two to three days at most.

2. Test of Antigen (Rapid Test): This test identifies Coronavirus-specific protein fragments. It can be performed in a hospital, a doctor’s office, or a clinic. The response time for outcomes is generally very short, and findings can be recorded within 15 minutes in some instances.

3. Antibody Test: Antibody tests scan your blood by checking for antibodies that will tell you whether you have had a prior COVID-19 virus infection, regardless of whether you have actually exhibited signs.

Based on a drop of blood taken from the finger, these tests usually yield results in a few minutes. It can take 1-3 days if blood is drawn for processing.

Antibody testing may provide fast results, but cannot diagnose an active infection in anyone. The production of appropriate antibodies to be identified in a test will take days to several weeks.

Things You Need to Know

PCR and Antigen Test are most common. However, they function quite differently.

RT-PCR experiments are developed to search for genetic material called RNA that instructs the virus to produce certain proteins. At the same time, antigen tests look for proteins on the surface of the virus to determine the pathogen’s identity.

Sensitivity and accuracy are the measures of the utility of a test. A highly responsive test has a low false-negative rate. Still, where its accuracy is not up to par, it runs a chance of false positives.

On the other hand, if the test’s sensitivity is bad, an extremely specific test runs a chance of false positives. Still, it would usually have a low false-positive rate. As they are usually highly sensitive and highly specific, PCR tests are considered the gold standard.

Negative test results should not be used to promote unsafe behaviours until antigen testing are made more precise. In testing the durability of vaccine reactions, antibody studies may be helpful.

Suppose you want to get yourself tested for any reason and looking for “COVID testing near me”. In that case, you can contact MY CONCIERGE MD, which is a trusted PCR testing facility available in Los Angeles.