By now, we are all aware of the impact COVID-19 had across the world. This devastating pandemic was devastating and demonstrated that many nations were ill-prepared for such a catastrophic event.
The healthcare system, especially, faced a lot of strain. In efforts to keep numbers as low as possible, there is one technique that proved invaluable to healthcare experts – testing.
Why is testing so important?
Testing is essential for several reasons, whether or not a patient is experiencing symptoms. Testing allows governments to gauge an accurate estimation of the number of cases and the spread of the disease. It’s also crucial for learning more about how contagious a condition is or how it can spread.
Without testing, we wouldn’t pinpoint the cause of symptoms and would struggle to prevent the disease from spreading further. Keeping infected individuals quarantined during their period of contagiousness is crucial to stop the cycle of infection.
Additionally, knowing who is (and isn’t) infected allows researchers to develop accurate symptom criteria to categorize the disease. Expanding our understanding of how this disease works and what to expect lets us know who is at risk and how we should prepare.
The process itself is rather interesting. While there are several techniques used to test for COVID-19, two remain dominant.
What is PCR?
PCR, or polymerase chain reaction, is the most popular form of testing. A majority of all cases are the result of PCR tests.
How they work is by rapidly making copies of targeted genetic material. In the case of the corona, a sample will target evidence of a COVID-19 virus. While it’s difficult to detect the genetic material in a raw sample, PCR makes targeted fragments of DNA much more prominent.
The amplified material is more comfortable to both identify and study. Those who test positive in a PCR test have the virus present in their systems.
What is serologic testing?
Where PCR identifies disease by detecting the presence of said disease, serologic testing detects specific immune responses. Specifically, it detects the presence of antibodies. Antibodies are a blood protein that develops after encountering an antigen, in this case, COVID-19.
By analyzing someone’s sample, experts can reveal whether or not a particular person encountered COVID-19. While this can offer insightful information, it can not tell you whether someone actively has the disease and is contagious.
Instead, it offers estimates for the number of people who had the disease at one point or another. In some cases, antibodies protect from contracting the disease. Researchers are still unaware if that is the case with corona.
These tests facilitate necessary research towards finding a cure.
For more information on our cutting-edge facilities of PCR-Dx, feel free to contact us. Our team of dedicated experts is here to offer our clients affordable and reliable testing options. We want our molecular detection services to help get your patients the results they can count on.
About PCR-Dx Diagnostic
At PCR-Dx Diagnostic, our mission is to provide our physician and practitioner clients and their patients with cutting-edge, all-inclusive PCR-based diagnostic services. Our goal is to enable medical professionals to make quick and accurate diseases diagnoses on their patients in line with our motto of “accurate testing and fast results.”