RTPCR and Rapid test: which method provides fast result for travellers

There are two types of Covid-19 tests. One detects the virus, the other the antibodies the body makes to fight the virus. Both must be performed under medical supervision to avoid the risk of misinterpretation of the result. One is RTPCR (Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction), based on molecular biology. The other is called the rapid antigen test, which uses blood. It measures the existence of two antibodies that the body makes when it is facing the virus. RTPCR confirms the presence of the virus using the genetic code to identify it. The quick test shows that there was contact with the virus, as it measures the immune response.

What is the Covid-19 RTPCR test?

RTPCR is called the gold standard, as it is able to detect the presence of the virus in the patient. It is done with secretions from the mucous membranes using a flexible rod called a swab. In hospitals, it is possible to analyze the secretion of the lung, the result of which is more reliable. This test can detect the presence of the virus on average up to the 12th day of symptoms. For sample processing, it requires reagents, most of which are imported. In addition, it requires special laboratory equipment, which makes it difficult to carry out mass. The RTPCR test has been performed in critically ill patients, and its result can take between 6 and 24 hours to come out.

How is the Covid-19 quick test?

The other is the serological test, which identifies the presence of antibodies in the blood after exposure to the new corona virus. It detects the body’s defense against the virus, and only identifies it days after infection. It can be done quickly, with a drop of blood taken from a hole in the finger, or by drawing blood from a vein, like a traditional test.

The immunological test detects M and G antibody levels. M serves as a marker for the most acute phase of Covid-19. It starts to be produced between five and seven days after the contamination. G works as an indicator of immunity after exposure to the virus, and it takes a little longer to be produced by the human body.

Is it effective?

The body’s response to the new corona virus varies from person to person, and the production of these antibodies begins between the 7th and 10th day of symptoms. Therefore, depending on the patient and the sensitivity of the exam performed, the Day 2 Antigen Test is more likely to be correct after this period. When RTPCR test gives most accurate results on the other hand the quick test is good for travels as you don’t need to wait for long to get a certification in this way.

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