New antigen test, result in 15 minutes

A corona test as easy as a pregnancy test? That is possible and could soon save the Germans, Austrians and Slovenes the winter sports season.

Woman looks at medical pallet
© pixabay.com | So far, a corona test took up to 3 days.

Promising news came from Pharmaceutical company Roche, a heavyweight in the industry with around 16,700 employees in Germany. Roche wants one at short notice SARS-CoV-2 antigen rapid test in Germany, which reacts highly sensitively to the corresponding viruses and within 15 minutes (according to the manufacturer) presents a result. The market launch is expected to start in mid-autumn with a monthly capacity of 40 million units, and by the end of 2020 production is to be increased to 80 million units per month.

Frequently asked questions: Corona anti-gene test

Who can take the test and what is the procedure?
The test should only be performed by healthcare professionals. The SARS-CoV-2 Rapid Antigen Test is not intended for private use.

The antigen test detects proteins that are structural or functional components of a pathogen and are therefore very specific for this pathogen. If the target antigen (nasal or throat swab) is present in sufficient concentration in the sample, it binds to specific antibodies and generates a visually detectable signal on a test strip, with results usually available in 15 to 30 minutes.

Can a private person also perform this test on themselves?
The test is not sold to private individuals because the Roche Point of Care SARS-CoV-2 Rapid Antigen Test is not approved for personal use. It is aimed at general practitioners, laboratories and pharmacies.

Where will the test be available and are there already sales prices?
In Austria, the test will be made available as soon as possible after publication. An exact date is not yet available as of today (09.09.).

How many tests will the first step and when will be launched in Austria?
In Austria, the test will be made available as soon as possible after publication. An exact date does not yet exist as of today (09.09.).

Are there any comparable tests?
Roche offers a PCR test that can also detect the virus directly.

How does this test differ from the other tests?
It is a test that proves the presence of the virus. Another test method is antibody testing. The antibody test detects an immune reaction in the body, i.e. whether the body has given the virus an immune reaction (formation of antibodies).

Which corona masks really protect us?

Differences between the PCR test and the antigen test

Both the PCR test and the rapid antigen test produce a Smear from the throat. With the PRC test, the genetic material of the virus is detected, with the antigen rapid test with the antigen rapid test Protein fragments (Proteins) in the sample the result. However, there is one disadvantage: Those who test positive do not necessarily have to be positive because of SARS-CoV-2, but can also be infected with another, more harmless coronavirus. Then the PCR test can provide assurance.

Rapid test almost as accurate as PCR test

The tests are designed to provide results that are almost entirely different from conventional ones in decimal places PCR tests distinguish. In addition, they should be significantly cheaper than the previously prescribed PCR tests.

Does the legislature accept these types of tests?

The cost pressure of the health insurances and the pressure on the budget of the public money through complex PCR tests is high. Laboratories that can evaluate these tests are currently partially working on theirs Capacity limit and many industries, including the travel industry, need quick, timely reported results. It cannot be conclusively answered whether rapid tests will also be accepted by the government in the future.


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Janelle B. Smith

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