Emergency use of antigen test
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has authorised the use of antigen test for the first time to detect and treat Covid-19 infection. The US Food and Drug Administration has issued the first emergency use authorization (EUA) for a Covid-19 antigen test, a new category of tests for use in the ongoing pandemic, the FDA said in a statement. The new type of test manufactured by Quidel Corp. It was given emergency authorization by the US Food and Drug Administration.
- One of the main advantages of an antigen test is the speed of the test, which can provide results in minutes, the agency added.
- Quidel Corp. said that its test, called the Sofia 2 SARS Antigen FIA, can produce results within 15 minutes.
- The FDA said that antigen tests are cheaper to produce, simpler to conduct and easier to implement at scale than the current testing apparatus.
- It is conducted by a nasal swab and immediately tested in the doctor's office or other point-of-care location, producing diagnostic results within minutes by quickly detecting proteins found on or within the virus.
- At the same time, antigen tests are not as sensitive to the virus as molecular PCR tests.
- This means that positive results from antigen tests are highly accurate, but there is a higher chance of false negatives, so negative results do not rule out infection.
- With this in mind, negative results from an antigen test may need to be confirmed with a PCR test prior to making treatment decisions or to prevent the possible spread of the virus due to a false negative.
- Diagnostic or polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests are currently being used to diagnose patients with COVID-19.
- Antibody tests allow for more accurate tracking of the spread of the coronavirus.
- People who test positive for coronavirus antibodies can also donate plasma.