January 15, 2022

What is the Most Accurate Test for COVID-19?

COVID-19 is a severe respiratory disease caused by SARS CoV-2 and is mainly transmitted through the spread of respiratory droplets of an infected person during coughing, talking, or sneezing COVID-19 can cause severe illness leading to death.

The key to handling Covid-19 infection lies in its early recognition and understanding of the clinical problems during the different progressive phases of the disease. Adequate knowledge leads to a rational approach in case management and an excellent clinical outcome. With the emergence of new variants, Omicron being the latest, diagnosis has also undergone a metamorphosis. Therefore, it is prudent to choose the right product for a Timely and Accurate diagnosis.
There are two types of tests available for Covid 19. Antigen-based tests to check for active infection in nasal/nasopharyngeal swabs and Antibody tests in Serum /Plasma to check on the immune status of the patients /past infections. As a rule, Antigen tests work on current infections , and Antibody tests diagnose past infections or vaccination effectiveness.

As per the WHO and ICMR Guidelines, the RT-PCR, a molecular diagnostic test, is the Gold standard for Detecting Active Infection/virus. However, this Test requires a specialized lab set up involving equipment and Biosafety infrastructure, and skilled manpower to perform the test procedure. Therefore, the second category of tests exists which circumvent this requirement and are helpful in the detection of Active Infection/viruses.

The RAPID Antigen Test (RAT) has proven a valuable alternative for diagnosis, especially during the pandemic. This Test is based on the Immuno-chromatography principle, and it provides results within 20 minutes. This does not need a specialized lab setup or an expert to carry out / interpret the results. This Test is more accessible and easy to use and fits well with the WHO and ICMR testing algorithms. It is approved at both – FDA and ICMR.

A third rapidly developing segment is the Point of Care, Rapid Antigen Home tests for COVID-19 Diagnosis. These also have a short turnaround time of 15-30 minutes and offer a massive advantage in quick detection and the opportunity to isolate and treat the cases. Since they can be done in the security and comfort of the household, the risk of transmission of the The virus is significantly reduced outside of the immediate vicinity.

Both the RAT and the Home-based tests have excellent specificity and can match the Sensitivity of the RT- PCR up to a level of 70% in some of the newer approved kits. A fourth option – the Covid -19 Antigen ELISA tests are the preferred choice for timely reporting of the patient results in case of a higher sample load. ELISA tests are more accurate than the Rapid Antigen tests at CT values of more than 30.

Detection of antibodies ( IgM & IgG) to Covid -19 help identify patients with an adaptive immune-response, providing information for disease prevalence and performing of epidemiological and sero-surveillance studies. Covid -19 Neutralizing Antibodies (or Late arriving IgG) help find whether the patient has good humoral immunity and whether the vaccination has been effective.

J Mitra & Co. offers complete a range of Covid Antigen and Antibody ELISA test kits for Covid-19 ; Covid 19 Ag Microlisa , Covid 19(IgM+IgG+IgA) Microlisa ,Covid Kawach IgG Microlisa and Covid 19 Neutralizing Antibody Microlisa.

There are multiple Tests available for Covid 19. A balanced approach is necessary given the emergence of mutations and new variants. It is always wisest to evaluate the options, the Workload, timelines on Turnaround, and infrastructure costs before going in for the Test that works best for you.

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