COVID-19 diagnostic testing

Updated: Jan 24

The scientific community ended last year with many strides in diagnostics and preventative and therapeutic techniques prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Although diagnostic testing was one of the first things developed at the start of the pandemic, there are still several unknowns and complicated elements that are difficult to understand and communicate accurately, such as:

  • What do COVID-19 diagnostic tests measure?

  • How accurate are the tests?

  • Do vaccines interfere with tests?

  • Should rapid at-home tests or PCR tests be used?

  • Do the tests detect viral variants?

  • How long are the tests acceptable?

Various COVID-19 tests measure different things. Antigen or nucleic acid amplification tests are the diagnostic options available to determine if the SARS-CoV-2 virus is present. Although not considered a diagnostic test, another test available is the antibody test that probes for evidence of past infections rather than current infections.

Antigenic tests, often called rapid tests, only search for specific viral proteins and can be utilized for quick results. Nucleic acid amplification tests – or PCR tests – search for the presence of viral RNA in the sample and are considered the gold standard of COVID-19 diagnostic testing.

Offered under an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA), Acutis Reveal™ COVID-19 is a PCR-based multiplex laboratory test that detects SARS-CoV-2, the causative agent of Coronavirus disease. Not only can our COVID-19 test detect the presence of global variants like Omicron and Delta, but it can also test for the presence of a key gene that indicates whether enough of the sample was collected to accurately detect the virus – potentially reducing false-negative results.

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