Lab POL Guide - 2021 - 3

COVID-19 Testing

COVID-19 TESTING
An Explanation of COVID-19 Testing
There are three tests for COVID-19: PCR, Antigen, and Antibody.2 Each test is independently valuable; key differences are what they test for, and when they are used.3

MOLECULAR TEST

RAPID ANTIGEN TEST
(early to mid-stages of infection)

(blood/serology) pinprick test (mid-to-late states of infection)

* Identifies the virus before and during early
onset of symptoms (days 1-7); however,
accuracy falls after the first 7-10 days

* Identifies the virus after symptoms
have started (or should have started, if
asymptomatic) between days 5-10, but
declines in sensitivity after around 2 weeks

* Can be administered as early as 5 days after symptoms
have developed (around days 10-15), and thereafter, in
an appropriately authorized point-of-care setting

(early stage of infection)

* T
 est performed with a nasopharyngeal
swab

RAPID ANTIBODY TEST

* Test performed with a nasopharyngeal swab
* Simple to use at the point of care

* O
 ften requires an offsite lab or an
expensive equipment, but more
accessible options are increasingly
available; timing varies by manufacturer

* P
 inprick test is performed by a healthcare worker in
an appropriately authorized point-of-care setting,
and delivers results in 10-15 minutes
* T
 ests for two types of antibodies produced to fight
off the virus: IgM (produced early, and goes away) and
IgG (produced later, and is generally long-lasting)

2.Video for more information on testing: (https://henryschein.wistia.com/medias/bns18twg9i)
3.Two key terms to know for testing: " sensitivity " (can you detect); " specificity " (can you detect the 'right' virus).

COVID-19 Testing At-A-Glance
Molecular (Nasal)

Analyzes a sample taken via swab
from deep inside the nose or the
back of the throat
Taken at the early stages of
infection

Can tell whether a person currently
has the virus present, but not
whether a resolved patient
previously had the condition

Performed in an appropriately authorized point-of-care setting

Requires special equipment

Can be administered as early as 5 days after symptoms develop

Typically requires a lab

This type of serology testing,
when combined with other patient
information, can help providers
determine if a patient can proceed
with normal, daily life

Very accurate

Identifies antibodies in blood drawn from a finger stick by a
healthcare worker

RESULTS

Molecular test

Antibody (Serology/Blood)

10-15
minutes

Antigen (Nasal)
Identifies the virus after symptoms
have started (or should have started,
if the patient is asymptomatic)
Taken between days 5-10 for
best results

Performed with a
nasopharyngeal swab
Works in a point-of-care setting

Testing Options Available from:

Disclaimer:
These tests are only authorized for the duration of the declaration that circumstances exist justifying the authorization of emergency use of in vitro diagnostic tests for detection
and/or diagnosis of COVID-19 under Section 564(b)(1) of the Act, 21 U.S.C. ยง 360bbb-3(b)(1), unless the authorization is terminated or revoked sooner.

21MS6125

3

henryschein.com/medical


https://henryschein.wistia.com/medias/bns18twg9i http://www.henryschein.com/medical

Lab POL Guide - 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Lab POL Guide - 2021

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