Senior pathologist speaks about Rapid Antigen Test

This report will brief our readers with the A to Z about Rapid Antigen Test

The actual Covid journey of a patient might start soon after they exhibit symptoms like sneezing, coughing, lack of smell/taste, fatigue, stomach upset and many others. In some cases, the patient may even be asymptomatic.
Going through a Covid test is very important as the test result determines further treatment.
Covid test can be done through two methods. One is the RT-PCR, and the other done using a Rapid Antigen Test, shortly known as RAT.
The Rapid Antigen Test is a screening test that is generally performed by obtaining a nasopharyngeal swab and then mixing it with the butter supplied in the kit to liberate the viral agents free in the surface.
Talking to Fit Northeast, pathologist Dr Rajib Bhuyan said that the RAT is just a SCREENING TEST and NOT A CONFIRMATORY TEST and is based on the principle of antigen-antibody binding.
A few drops of it are subsequently added to the chip on the testing kit that shows the result within 15 minutes.
representative image of an RAT kit
Image: representative image of an RAT kit
Talking to Fit Northeast, pathologist Dr Rajib Bhuyan said that the RAT is just a SCREENING TEST and NOT A CONFIRMATORY TEST and is based on the principle of antigen-antibody binding.
The RAT detects the protein or antigen in the patient's upper respiratory tract. This test generally shows positive results if the patient has a high viral load. Most RAT kits target SARS CoV-2 Nucleocapsid protein antigens using specifically developed Monoclonal antibodies. These Monoclonal antibodies identify only a specific epitome of nucleocapsid, thus increase the specificity of detecting the virus.
This kit is best to be used to detect mass infection. This kit is not as reliable as it shows false positive, and the patient is always suggested to go for an RT-PCR for confirmation.
Dr Bhuyan said that be it RT-PCR or RAT, it is always good to get it done at a laboratory by expert medical technicians. Every stage. from swab collection to transporting the samples, testing in labs, has a significant role to play. The way the swabs are collected matters a lot as the perfect sample can give a more accurate result.



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