Coronavirus Testing, Explained

By now, everyone is exhausted from coverage discussing the coronavirus. However, due to the variety of testing and results from state to state, it has become clear that misconceptions and confusion about coronavirus testing are running rampant on social media. Coronavirus is the name of the disease that is the result of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Currently, the tests being used to diagnose COVID-19 search for evidence SARS-CoV-2. There are three primary categories of testings related to the targeting of the assay: antibody, antigen, & RNA.

Diagnosis of coronavirus is based on exposure risk, clinical symptoms, timeline, and test results. The current diagnostic tests conducted to detect RNA are becoming the global standard regarding the diagnosis of COVID-19. Each of the assays amplify the viral RNA to further detect any presence of viral RNA. While the assays use a form of Polymerase Chain Reaction to amplify the virus, PCR-Dx uses the most sophisticated and advanced form to reduce testing time and deliver highly accurate results quickly.

Welcome to PCR-Dx

Regarding questions surrounding antibodies, it is key to point out that with even the most specific and sensitive antibody test, they currently cannot yet say if said patient currently has immunity. Protective immunity to Covid-19 is still an ongoing science that is being rigorously tested. As it stands, we are still learning about how immunity in how the coronavirus works. While current test results yield promising data, we are unable to predict that a varied level of antibody will provide a patient with defense from future or current exposures to Covid-19. We still don’t know if a particular level of antibody must be met before a patient becomes immune. Studies are being conducted to determine if immunity will decrease the severity of the disease, prevent reinfection, or even how long antibodies are present after exposure. These are important questions to study and find answers for before any clinical utility of antibody testing can be fully realized. Antibody testing should currently not be used for a diagnosis for any current infection until further studies can be done.