What is the Accuracy of a PCR Test?

PCR test

By this time in the pandemic, you or someone you know has probably received at least one COVID-19 test. The Coronavirus or COVID-19 is a respiratory disease that can cause severe illness, especially in people with preexisting health problems. With the advancement of the technology like the PCR test, we can now quickly check if you’re positive with the virus or not. However, you might be skeptical and ask how accurate is a PCR test?

PCR or polymerase chain reaction 

Polymerase chain reaction or PCR is a DNA amplification technique utilized in a lab to turn tiny amounts of DNA into large quantities to be analyzed. This technique uses heating and cooling cycles to create millions of copies of a tiny amount of DNA. This is useful for detecting when a pathogen is present or circulating in the body or have traces left behind.

PCR test, referred to as the gold standard, is a molecular test that shows active infection of SARS-CoV-2 accurately within days of exposure, even for asymptomatic people.

How Do PCR Test Work

PCR test kit

COVID-19 test uses a modified version of PCR called quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR). This method puts in fluorescent dyes to the PCR process to measure the amount of genetic material in a sample.

Sample Collection

For PCR, the nasopharyngeal swab is the most common way in collecting samples. However, some PCR tests are done by collecting saliva from the patient. Once the specimen is acquired, it is sent to the laboratory for analysis. The first step is acquiring a sample using a sterile soft plastic stick swabbed on the inside of a patient’s nose or back of the throat. Afterwards, that stick is sealed and shipped to the testing laboratory in a cold container.

Extraction

Laboratory technicians will extract the RNA from the sample, which will tell if the virus’ genes are present or not.

PCR

The specimen will undergo a PCR to increase the DNA sample using a PCR machine and special enzymes and chemicals. A unique light-measuring device in the PCR machine reads out fluorescence patterns to determine which samples have the virus in them

How Accurate Are PCR Tests?

The PCR COVID-19 test is refered as the most sensitive and accurate test for detecting an active coronavirus infection. Because PCR tests are extremely sensitive, it will rarely give false negative unlike that of rapid antigen tests for COVID-19.

PCR results don’t require confirmatory tests or double-checking because they’re highly accurate. However, to yield the most precise results, the patient must be infected within 5-7 days before the test.

Get Your Covid Tests at Dynamic Diagnostics

If you feel you have Covid-19 symptoms and you don’t know where to get covid PCR test, look no further. Dynamic Diagnostics US offers free COVID-19 PCR and rapid testing.

Dynamic Diagnostics US is a Chigago-based, veteran-owned testing company. We have over 50 testing locations all over the United States. We offer FREE Rapid and PCR tests for everybody, even without health insurance ready. Our mission is to help prevent the spread of the virus. Give us a call at +1-800-601-6561.

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