October 31, 2020

Perpetuo Socorro adds rapid antigen test to its Covid-19 tests


Perpetuo Socorro Hospital incorporates into its Covid-19 Medical Unit the rapid antigen test diagnostic test with the aim of having a comprehensive service for the analysis and diagnosis of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Given the current growing demand, the center offers a test that allows results to be obtained in just 15 minutes, providing faster results.

It is the Panbio COVID-19 Ag Rapid Test Device, from the Abbott company, which is certified by the European Commission. The test is a rapid antigen test that detects the virus in a manner equivalent to PCR, not being valid to show antibodies. It is a lateral flow test that quickly and qualitatively detects the SARS-CoV-2 virus. This analysis directly reveals a virus protein in the body at the time of sample extraction.

The Rapid Antigen Test, which is licensed for use by healthcare professionals, does not require instrumentation and is obtained through a nasopharyngeal swab. As it is a fast and reliable technique, its implementation is recommended both for individuals and for large population groups, such as groups of companies, hotels or schools. In these cases, Perpetuo Socorro enables the travel of its team of specialists to the different centers in order to minimize the possible risks of contagion and facilitate the extraction of large-scale samples.

Sensitivity and specificity

The rapid antigen test, according to the validation report, has a sensitivity of 93.3% and a specificity of 99.4%. These data make this diagnostic test a technique with similar sensitivity to the PCR test.

Perpetuo Socorro also performs the PCR test, which directly detects the RNA (ribonucleic acid) of the virus in the body and is collected with a respiratory sample from the nose and pharynx with a swab that is subsequently analyzed in the Molecular Biology laboratory (results between 24 -48 hours); the rapid test, which is a qualitative test of IgG and IgM antibodies by lateral flow immunochromatography with a sample in whole blood or serum (results between 2 – 3 hours); and the serological test, a quantitative automated test of IgG and IgM antibodies by CLIA (chemiluminescence) or by ELISA (Enzyme-immunoassay) that is carried out with a serum sample and that quantifies the level of antibodies generated (results between four and seven days).

All diagnostic tests are carried out both individually and collectively and the results are accompanied by the corresponding medical report from the Covid-19 Medical Unit.

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