COVID-19 DIAGNOSIS METHODS

26 May 2020 Leave your Thoughts
COVID-19

The COVID-19 outbreak in Wuhan (China) in December 2019 and the quick spread of the virus has  changed the daily lives and needs of all of us.

The World Health Organization (WHO) describes the most common symptoms of COVID-19 as fever, dry cough and tiredness. But as we all know, there is a long list of other less frequent, but just as nonspecific symptoms. Symptoms in general are usually mild and increase gradually. A high percentage of those infected only have very mild symptoms and although 1 in 5 people end up with serious respiratory problems, the recovery rate is high, around 80%.

The high infection rate is something that differentiates this virus from many others. For this reason, all national control strategies include an ambitious diagnostic plan and therefore, access to COVID-19 tests and diagnostic methods that are reliable and effective at detecting the virus  is essential.

Life Length has radically transformed its activity, and is now able to perform and distributes the 3 methods for detecting the virus and its antibodies:

  1. Detection of viral RNA: PCR test.

A test based on Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR), and a method that allows detecting a fragment of the genetic material of a pathogen. The PCR test is capable of detecting the virus (its RNA)quickly in the early stages of the infection process. In Life Length we detect 3 regions of the viral RNA: protein S (spike), protein N (nucleocapsid) and ORF1 ab, which makes our test one of the best with a reliability of 99%.

In order to carry out this test, we need to collect a nasopharyngeal and oropharyngeal sample with a swab that is later analysed in our laboratory. The PCR requires a study and work of at least two hours, carried out by qualified personnel and therefore, the results are delivered in 24 hours.

  1. Antibody detection tests: and ELISA.

These tests detect antibodies produced against the virus by the patient’s immune system. Therefore, a blood sample is required.

It is important to emphasize that these tests, unlike the previous ones, do not detect the virus but the immune reaction generated by our body against it.

There are two different versions of antibody tests:

  • Rapid tests: They are based on a paper immunochromatography, in which proteins called immunoglobulins , capable of detecting and binding to the antibodies present in the sample, which have previously been bound to some “specific proteins” of the virus marked with a chromophore, allowing thus its direct visualization. In Life Length, we are proud of being able to offer the best and most effective antibody detection tests (IgG and IgM) on the Spanish market, according to a study of Yale University, with a specificity and sensitivity of 98.6 % and 99.6% respectively.

These tests have clear advantages: only a few drops of blood are needed, the results are obtained in 15 minutes and are usually very affordable.

  • ELISA: is a quantitative test that indicates the amount of immunoglobulins (antibodies) in the blood that one has produced against the virus. It requires more blood to be extracted than for the rapid tests and more time to obtain the results due to its laboratory processing. At Life Length, we are also carrying out this most complete test, which detects 3 types of antibodies: IgA, IgM and IgG, incorporating protein S (spike) and N (nucleocapsid) antigens to improve the sensitivity, specificity and robustness of the diagnosis.

At Life Length, we continue to offer our COVID-19 testing services under the highest quality standards and always with a medical prescription.

If you have any questions or inquiries, or want to perform any of the tests with us, please contact us at the following email: pruebascovid@lifelength.com.

https://www.hcmarbella.com/en/tecnicas-para-un-diagnostico-de-certe

Image from HC Marbella

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