Types of Covid-19 Screening Tests

In five months, Coronavirus has affected more than 20 million people in the world. Thankfully, we now have more tests that can be used to know past and active infections. These tests can also be used by the health workers, government and scientists to find more about the virus and find a cure or plan mass-level control for it.

To make these tests available and accessible for all, Indus is introducing them in their service. To plan protection and check for active infections, Indus offers the Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 detection test, Antibody Test and Antigen Testing for Covid-19 screening.

Types of Covid-19 Screening Tests

What is SARS-CoV-2 RT PCR test?

RT-PCR test or Real-Time Polymer Chain Reaction Test was the only detection test in the beginning stages of Covid-19. It is done by collecting swabs from the throat and nose of suspected Covid-19 patients. Patient's swab samples are analyzed with reagents to check if they have the Covid-19 virus. This is the widely used test to diagnose active corona infection.

What is Rapid Antibody Test?

Rapid Antibody Test looks for antibodies through a patient’s blood samples. According to ICMR, these tests are majorly for mass analysis and reporting. After the Antibody Test is done, the following strategy needs to be followed:

Positive Antibody Test: assessment, treatment, and isolation should begin for the patients.

Negative Antibody Test: an RT PCR test is required. If RT PCR test is positive, the patient is confirmed to have the infection and needs to follow Covid-19 treatment protocols.

It is an important tool for scientists, government and experts to understand and plan further movement strategies and guidelines for the pandemic period.

What is Antigen Testing?

Antigen Test is the newest coronavirus screening that detects proteins that are parts of the coronavirus. This is done in almost the same method as the RT PCR - that is by using nasal fluid in a swab. Antigen tests are able to give the results quicker than RT PCR and are not as expensive. In case the Antigen Test comes negative, doctors may recommend RT PCR for final reporting, depending on the situation and exposure of the person.

To find a solution to make life normal again as before the Covid-19 pandemic, Antibody and Antigen Tests can be used widely in communities and ultimately help in easing the restrictions to slow/stop the spread of the virus. Also, a better understanding of the population that has recovered from Covid-19 would enable experts to estimate the dynamic and rate of the virus’ spread and design better strategies to safeguard the community. In the meantime, Antibody Testing could play an additional role of confirming people who can donate convalescent plasma, a component of blood that contains antibodies. Know how you can get these tests customized as per your requirements of your family.

 

                                                   COVID-19 TESTS COMPARISON

PARAMETER 

RT PCR 

ANTIGEN 

ANTIBODY 

Detection 

Detects the SARS COV genetic material (RNA) 

Detects the proteins/antigens  

in the virus 

Detects the antibody produced by the body in response to the virus 

Report time 

1 to 2 days 

Immediate result (about 30 minutes) 

Time required for the results-1 day if done by ELISA/CLIA method 

Purpose 

Detects active & current infection 

Detects active & current infection 

Detects past infection 

Accuracy 

Very accurate 

May require further confirmation 

Useful for sero-surveillance and health planning 

Cost 

Expensive 

Less expensive 

Less expensive 

Requisites 

Requires doctor’s prescription 

Requires doctor’s prescription/Aadhar Card 

Does not require doctor's prescription 

Advantages 

Useful for individual testing 

Useful for mass testing 

Useful for mass screening 

Sample form 

Naso/Oropharyngeal swabs 

Nasopharyngeal swabs 

Blood 

Sensitivity 

Highly sensitive 

Moderate sensitivity 

Useful for surveillance, not for diagnosis 

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  • Body Screening Tests & Checkup

    Body Screening Tests & Checkup

    Laboratory Work

    Blood and urine tests in the laboratory detect any disturbances in the chemical levels of your body. There are several tests done, each for its specific purpose:

    How it is done?

    You will be made to sit on a chair with your arm on the hand-rest of the chair or on a table. The technician will insert the needle in a particular vein of your arm and draw in a small quantity of blood, which will then be sent to a lab.

    Chest X-Ray

    A simple and quick procedure that scans the lungs and heart for diseases or irregularities.

    How it is done?

    The technician will position you correctly on the x-ray table. You should not wear any jewellery or metal objects. The technician may ask you to hold your breath for few seconds. Women who suspect pregnancy or are pregnant should not undertake this test. Pregnant ladies should not enter the X-Ray room.

    Electro Cardiogram (ECG)

    An ECG maps the electrical activity and muscular functioning of the heart. It also indicates other abnormal conditions of heart.

    How it is done?

    You will be asked to lie down on a bed/table. Electrodes (small clip-like objects) will be attached to your arms, legs and chest and a gel is applied. A reading of the ECG will be taken from a monitor attached to the electrodes. You have to lie very still and breathe normally unless instructed to hold it. You should not talk during the test.

    2D Echo Cardiography (Colour Doppler of heart)

    It is a kind of ultrasound which provides detailed analysis of the heart on various parameters such as valves, heart chambers, cardiac capacity, congenital defects, etc.

    How it is done?

    A colourless gel is applied to the chest or on the transducer head. You will be asked to lay on your left side as the technician moves the transducer across the different parts of your chest to get specific views of the heart.

    Sono-mammography

    A type of ultrasound conducted to detect and diagnose any lumps in the breasts to screen out cancerous probabilities.

    How it is done?

    A Gel will be put on the breast so the transducer can pick up the sound waves as it is moved back and forth over the breast. A picture of the breast tissue can be seen on a TV screen.

    Ultrasonography of abdomen & pelvis

    This helps to determine any abnormality in the abdominal organs and detect stones and inflammation of the liver, gall bladder, spleen, pancreas and kidneys.

    How it is done?

    A gel will be applied on the whole abdominal area and the transducer is moved slowly over it. An image of the abdominal area will appear on the attached monitor.

    You will be required to have your urinary bladder full by drinking lots of water.

    Total body fat percentage

    This gives you the percentage of fat present in your body in proportion with muscles. This is helpful in determining one’s obesity level.

    Pap smear

    Critical in detection of cervical cancer (which is completely curable if detected at an early stage). It is very common in females.

    How it is done?

    You will need to lie down on your back. A speculum is then inserted into the vaginal area and a small cervical brush is inserted into the openings of the cervix and twirled around to collect a sample of the cells. The results of the Pap smear are usually available after 4/5 days. Women should ideally have Pap smear in the mid of their cycle and not close to having or during their periods.

    Transvaginal Ultrasound (TVS)

    TVS is done to obtain complete evaluation of the pelvic area more appropriately in females.

    How it is done?

    For TVS you will need to lie down on your back with your feet in stirrups. A transducer is inserted into the vagina after the patient empties her bladder. A protective cover is placed over the transducer and lubricated with a small amount of gel to avoid any discomfort.

    Pulmonary Lung Function

    Breathing exercises that check lung condition and lung capacity, which can get altered in some lung and heart conditions.

    How it is done?

    You will need to wear loose fitting clothes that do not restrict your breathing. If you wear dentures, you will have to remove them. A mouth piece will be inserted in your mouth and you will be asked to breathe in, hold your breath and breathe out several times.

    Screening Audiometry Test

    Loss of hearing is a gradual process and sometimes goes unnoticed to the patient. Early detection of this defect can help in taking corrective measures.

    How it is done?

    You will be asked to wear special headphones. The technician will instruct you to raise your hand every time you hear a tone through these headphones. A headband with a small plastic rectangle that fits behind your ear will be put. The tones will be repeated.

    Stress Test or Treadmill Test

    This test is done to check the possibility of blockages in the heart’s blood vessels, when the person is put to exercise.

    How it is done?

    You are connected to the ECG machine with electrodes and told to walk on the treadmill (a machine commonly seen in gyms and fitness centres). The speed and elevation of the treadmill is increased gradually. You should wear comfortable footwear on the treadmill. In case of any discomfort during the test, inform the technician immediately.

    Ophthalmology

    A routine eye check-up to check vision and condition of the eyes.

    How it is done?

    You will be made to sit on a special chair and after a preliminary examination of the eyes, you will be asked to read some text. In some cases eye drops may be put in your eyes for a more detailed examination by other instruments.

    Bone Mineral Densitometry (BMD)

    Helps in assessing bone loss, which can lead to osteoporosis, the main reason for fragile bones that fracture easily.

    How it is done?

    Since it is a type of x-ray, BMD is done in the radiology department. You will need to lie down on your back on a table and the machine will scan your bones of hip and lower spine.

    CT Coronary Angiography (Heart)

    This test is non-invasive and takes pictures of the heart in 0.4 seconds and uses them to construct a 3-D image.

    It very precisely detects any blockages in the blood vessels.

    CT Screening of Neck Vessels (Carotid)

    This evaluates the condition of blood vessels in the neck. By early detection, any narrowing of vessels can be treated to prevent complications in the future.

    CT Screening of Intracranial Vessels (Brain)

    Detects narrowing, blockages and growths in vessels to the brain. This test is critical to prevent fatal conditions like brain haemorrhage.

    CT Brain (Contrast)

    This test gives us information about any pathology in the brain tissues like tumours, haemorrhage etc. It is a quick process that takes only about 3 seconds.

    CT Calcium Scoring

    A non-invasive procedure to obtain information about the presence, location and extent of calcified plaque in the coronary arteries due to a build-up of fat or other substances.

    How these are done?

    For all the above CT tests, the procedure remains same. You will be asked to lie down on your back on the CT scanning table. A contrast medium is injected (except in CT calcium scoring) intravenously. Your heart rate is continuously monitored during the procedure with the help of ECG leads. You are asked to hold breath for 15-20 sec during the scan.

    You should not eat or drink anything except water for at least 2 hours prior to the test. This test will not be done in case of pregnancy or suspected pregnancy

    CT Scanogram / X-Ray of Lumbar Spine and Cervical Spine

    This evaluates the condition of the lumbar and cervical spine. This test is essential in proper diagnosis and treatment of chronic lower back pain.

    Gynaecology Consultation

    A detailed consultation for women regarding contraception, conception, pregnancy and self-testing for presence of certain diseases.

    Diet Consultation: Consultation with a dietician to guide you for balanced diet and proper eating habits. Dietician will also suggest changes in diet, if any required. This consultation will give you in-depth understanding of how to eat better and stay healthy.

    Fitness Consultation

    A fitness expert advises you on the proper fitness program to follow taking into consideration factors like your age, weight, medical history etc.

    Expert Counselling by Doctor

    A final assessment of all your test reports by an experienced doctor. The doctor will give you a detailed analysis of your test results and suggest corrective measures as needed. It is advisable to keep a proper follow-up with your family doctor regarding any measures that are suggested.