The Importance of PCR for Diagnosis of Coronavirus: What Is the Best Way to Detect It?

Covid 19 Tests

Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) is a method widely used to rapidly make millions to billions of copies (complete copies or partial copies) of a specific DNA sample, allowing scientists to take a very small sample of DNA and amplify it (or a part of it) to a large enough amount to study in detail.

1. What is the PCR test for Coronavirus?

PCR test is short for a Polymerase Chain Reaction. The test is used to detect Coronavirus. The test detects viral genetic material in the patient’s blood. The test may be ordered if the doctor suspects Coronavirus in the patient. 

In order to accurately diagnose Coronavirus, scientists at the National Institutes of Health use a specific set of diagnostic methods called polymerase chain reaction (PCR). PCR is a technique used to amplify a sample of the virus using the enzyme that is naturally present in a human body. This amplification process allows doctors to detect subtle variations from infected to uninfected individuals by examining how the virus-amplified pieces of DNA react to specific different reagents. “PCR amplification for diagnosing human disease are unique in that they use specific primers and end pieces, and involve knowledge of a patient’s internal anatomical features,” reads a release from the NIH. These unique diagnostic methods of PCR for dealing with coronavirus use a reagent called a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) to amplify DNA.

  • What Are The Advantages Of PCR Over Other Tests?

PCR stands for “polymerase chain reaction,” and it’s a powerful technique for amplifying (or making more) DNA that’s present in a tiny sample. The PCR arm of the modern diagnostic test is a standard part of antifungal drug diagnosis. It’s widely used in coronavirus diagnostic labs because PCR amplifies the genetic material (or genetic code) of the virus or bacteria. 

Why use PCR instead of other methods of diagnosing a virus?
-Because pre-digital technologies like liquid chromatography (LC) and gas chromatography (GC) preserve so many of the characteristics of a sample, including variations in extractable DNA. That preserves the data for further use in research or medical studies.
-Another difference: LC and GC are labor-intensive and can be expensive. PCR, on the other hand, can be performed in a living room or a hospital cafeteria. Also, it’s fairly simple to carry out, which makes it the best choice for isolating positive samples in a clinical setting for further study and research.
-One type of PCR that has received a lot of attention recently is reverse-phase amplification (RPA). It’s an extension of LC and has helped speed up the speed and efficiency of diagnosing some bacterial and viral infections. 

  • How Is Coronavirus Treated?

There is no known cure for coronavirus at this time except getting vaccinated, and because of the serious nature of the disease, it is important to seek medical attention as soon as you have symptoms. Treatment will be determined by your doctor based on your symptoms and their severity. Your doctor may prescribe antibiotics, antivirals, or antifungals.
They may also suggest testing to see if you have the coronavirus. This is because the virus can hide in your body for many weeks, or even months. It is important to remember that tests only show if you have the virus, nothing else.
Therefore, even the results of a test only show you have the virus, there could be more than one strain of the virus in your body. The type of test your doctor uses often depends on the type of infection you have. 

  • Who Should Get Tested For COVID-19?

Who should get tested? The CDC recommends that people who develop symptoms consistent with the common cold should contact their health care provider or state health department to determine if they should be tested.
The US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has recommended that healthcare workers who have had a close encounter with patients who are suspected of having the novel coronavirus, especially health care workers who may have come into direct contact with the virus, consider PCR testing. This tests the individual’s antibody response against the novel coronavirus as well as the specific genetic material tested. Tests are now available and generally cost between $50–$200.

So, which people should get tested? The CDC notes that early positive results are more likely to be accurate at identifying health care workers who are exposed to the novel coronavirus and have had more recent close encounters with patients, as well as soldiers returning from deployment who have had recent close person-to-person encounters with the novel coronavirus. However, as novel coronavirus continues to spread, health care workers who are looking for additional resources to help their patients receive treatments, such as face-covering, face masks, occupational, and therapeutic shoes, should also consider testing. If none of these tests are helpful for you, or you need more guidance, a call to your healthcare provider is always an option. Have you gotten tested for COVID-19?

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