SARS-CoV-2 RNA (RT PCR COVID-19)
- The result is available in two languages, Polish and English
- The result can be available online or in paper form at any checkup point
- The result is ready the next day
About the Test
The nose swab PCR test for COVID-19 is accurate and reliable for diagnosing COVID-19.
Reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR)-based diagnostic tests (which detect fragments of the virus) are considered the gold standard for detecting current SARS-CoV-2 infection. A positive test means you likely have COVID-19. A negative test means you probably did not have COVID-19 at the test time.
Clinicians typically diagnose respiratory infection by viruses such as SARS-CoV-2 by directly detecting viral nucleic acid or protein in respiratory tract specimens. The two most frequently used tools are polymerase chain reaction(PCR) and rapid antigen-based tests. When the COVID-19 pandemic began, reverse-transcriptase PCR tests were the first to be developed and widely deployed.
Purpose of the test
RT-PCR test to confirm coronavirus infection SARS-CoV-2 is performed in certain situations:
confirmation of SARS-CoV-2 infection in people with symptoms characteristic of infection (e.g., fever, shortness of breath, dry cough, loss, or loss of smell and/or taste);
asymptomatic individuals with known or suspected contact with a COVID-19 case;
symptomless individuals when the results will impact isolation/quarantine/personal protective equipment usage decisions, dictate eligibility for surgery, or inform the administration of immunosuppressive therapy;
Importantly, the reliability of the result depends on the correct collection of the sample material for testing, as well as the time of collection (test time from infection/symptoms). It is known that the highest concentration of virus in the human nasopharynx is in the first week after the first symptoms indicating a possible infection.
How is a PCR test different from a COVID-19 antigen?
While PCR and antigen tests both check for signs of an active SARS-CoV-2 infection, there are important differences between them:
A PCR test looks for traces of the virus’s genetic material instead of proteins found on the outside of the virus.
A PCR can be conducted on a sample taken from your nose, throat, or saliva, but antigen tests are performed on samples from your nose or behind the nose.
While both are available as both laboratory and point-of-care tests, antigen tests are more frequently used for point-of-care testing.
Antigen tests generally cost less than PCR tests.
PCR tests are considered to be more accurate and may be used to confirm the results of an antigen test.