Medically reviewed by: Dr. Robert Segal, M.D.
The latest news in the coronavirus fight has reached new heights with the latest advancements in testing. In just the past year, there have been multiple tests released to the general public in 2020, which might confuse some people.
We now have three different methods to test for COVID-19;
1. The RT- PCR test – A Nasal Swab test determines if you’re positive or negative with an active infection measuring the virus’s genetic material. Results can take a few days, depending on the lab.
2. The COVID-19 Antibody test – A Blood Test that determines your immunity status of the virus. Results can take a few days, depending on the lab.
3. The Rapid Antigen Test – Similar to the RT- PCR test, it is also a Nasal Swab Test, which determines if you’re positive or negative with an active infection measuring the surface protein of the coronavirus yielding results in 15 minutes.
It is worth mentioning that many different companies flooded the market with rapid antigen tests with promises to determine COVID-19 statuses; however, none have been authorized by the FDA. The Quidel Corporation launched the Sofia Rapid Antigen test in May, the only test approved by the FDA Emergency Authorization Use, which promises point-of-care testing results in 15 minutes. Specimens are placed into the machine and analyzed with a 96.7% sensitivity and 100% specificity, according to Quidel Corporation. Earlier this month, FDA granted an EUA to a BD antigen test with 84% sensitivity, making it only the second such diagnostic to receive the agency’s approval.
The trade-off between RT-PCR and Rapid Antigen tests is that PCR is more accurate but slower to obtain results. Rapid Antigen tests are cheaper and yield faster results. The CEO of Quidel Corporation, Douglas Bryant, said in a statement to shareholders that the latest study that the Sofia Rapid Antigen Test is now comparable to PCR tests.
You can book an appointment with the Sofia SARS-Cov2 Rapid Antigen Test at LabFinder.com to find a testing location nearest to you.