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COVID Test | Which one should I use? | Availability, Accuracy & Cost of Different Covid 19 Tests available in India
Dr.Praveen KS
Pediatrician
GH Thiruvananthapuram

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COVID Test | Which one should I use? | Availability, Accuracy & Cost of Different Covid 19 Tests available in India
Rapid Antigen Detection Test
Very high specificity (99.3 to 100% )
Sensitivity of the test ranged from 50.6% to 84, depending upon the viral load of the patient. Higher viral load correlated with higher sensitivity
So a positive test should be considered as a true positive and does not need reconfirmation by RT-PCR test.
All positive samples are to be treated as confirmed cases and manged as per the existing guidelines. No need to reconfirm the positive results withany tests.
If the sample is negative in a symptomatic person, RT-PCR should be performed on a fresh sample from the patient. All COVID suspects tocomplete their quarantine period even if the test result is negative.

Antibody tests are not recommended for diagnosis of COVID-19 infection .

Positive test indicates exposure to SARS-CoV-2
Negative test does not rule out COVID-19 infection
Most common cause of a false negative covid swab test is Poor Quality of specimen- little/ inadequate material

Once the swab is in the nasopharynx , rotate 180 degree and leave in place for 5 to 10 seconds to saturate the swab tip

Xpert Xpress SARS-CoV-2 automated Cartridge based system for rapid diagnosis of Covid 19. Xpert Xpress SARS-CoV-2 assay targets two genes, the E-gene (Sarbeco specific) and N2-gene (SARS-CoV-2 specific) .

Cost of the GeneXert system is around 15 lakhs , Single Catridge for Covid cost 2800 Rs

ICMR and NABL accreditation needed . Also should get approval from the state government • Nasopharyngeal swab in 3ml VTM• E & N gene detected within 45 minutes• Positive result considered as true positive

Truenat Covid test is a Chip-based ,Point of care PCR for screening & confirmation of COVID-19 cases

Light weight, portable, mains/ battery operated

Unlike GeneXpert this is not a fully automated system . • Sample collected in viral lysis buffer

RNA extraction system One sample at atime-20 minutes Real time RT-PCR system Up to 4 samples at a time-45 minutes
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