Different Types of Antigen Testing for Travel to Detect COVID-19

An antigen is a foreign body that invades a human body, causing illness or discomfort. All the bacteria, viruses, allergens, and toxic chemicals are considered to be antigens that can make us sick. Hence, the presence of antigens needs to be detected and various diagnostic tests are conducted for this purpose. Coronavirus is a deadly antigen that causes COVID-19, a fatal disease that has claimed millions of lives throughout the world. So it is essential to undergo a rapid antigen test of the suitable kind before traveling to other places.

Close up of fingers holding express antigen covid test, negative result

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Accurate results – Usually, the results of rapid antigen tests are quite accurate in the assessment of the presence of viruses. Though some people have the opinion that traditional lab tests are more accurate in detecting viruses, the usefulness of rapid antigen tests is proved by experts now. All rapid antigen tests can more or less accurately find the presence of Coronavirus or other similar deadly germs in the human body.

PCR tests – PCR or Polymerase chain reaction tests are essential to detect viruses even before symptoms of the disease show up in a patient’s body. Hence, this is a reliable rapid antigen test to diagnose the presence of Coronavirus. This test helps in stopping the spread of this deadly infection among others. The nasopharyngeal fluid of the patient is taken as the test sample and DNA polymerase is added to it. If any virus is present in this sample, several copies of the RNA of that virus are created in this process, which confirms the presence of the virus. This type of test helps in isolating infected people and saves others from receiving this infection. However, there is a 30% chance of getting a false report of such tests when dead virus cells are also counted.

Antibody tests – These tests do not point out the people who are presently infected, as antibodies are produced in the body 1 or 2 weeks after the body is infected with the virus. The presence of antibodies proves that the patient was inflicted by Coronavirus and he/she has developed immune power now to flight it. It is seen that people suffering from even mild cases of COVID-19 develop antibodies that can protect them for the next 6 – 7 months from this infection. Usually, a blood sample is used for this kind of laboratory test because antibodies are mostly found in the bloodstream. On the contrary, Coronavirus is mostly available in the respiratory tract of patients.

Lateral flow tests – This is another variety of rapid antigen test that helps in detecting the presence of Coronavirus in the body of passengers before they travel by train or air. So, the nasopharyngeal serum is drawn from the respiratory passage and placed on an absorbent pad. Then a capillary tube is used to transfer a little bit of this serum to a slide coated with antibodies of Coronavirus. If the virus is present in the sample, the protein molecules of virus cells will get attached to antibodies, leaving a colored mark on that strip. The lateral flow tests are much quicker than PCR tests, as the result is available only within 30 minutes. However, it is found that these tests cannot always detect the presence of Coronavirus in people who apparently do not have any symptoms of this disease.

Therefore, people can now undergo COVID-19 antigen tests through any of the above-mentioned techniques, as suggested by their attending doctors. These tests can prevent the spread of this disease from one patient to his/her co-passengers.

Harley Medic International was voted the best testing provider in the UK

With more than 40 years in the visa, medical and legalisation industry, Harley Medic International has become one of the largest and most well-renowned mobilisation companies in the world. All the rapid antigen tests are conducted according to the guidelines set for the safety of patients. Experienced health practitioners or trained technicians are allowed to conduct these tests. Thus, patients are safe and they do not suffer from any side effects after undergoing the rapid antigen tests.