PCR Test vs. Rapid Antigen Test: What are the Difference?

In the continuous effort to eradicate somehow lessen the cases of the COVID-19 virus, health experts made way for hospitals, doctors, and nurses worldwide to know whether a person is COVID positive or not. Though many types of coronavirus testing were developed, two tests are frequently used and will later be discussed in this article.


Ever since these tests aided the fight against the coronavirus, many companies relied on it to make sure that their employees are safe to report back to work. Airline companies also added to their safety precautions that travelers undergo fit to fly COVID test to secure a fit to fly certificate that will prove that they are clear from COVID-19 infection.


Here are the two most used test for COVID-19 detection:


Polymerase Chain Reaction Test


The PCR Test, sometimes referred to as the reverse-transcription RT-PCR test, is named the “golden standard” when it comes to COVID-19 testing due to its high accuracy. The sensitivity of the test in detecting the virus’s genetic material that makes it deliver the most accurate results and repetition due to error is unlikely to happen.


People skeptical about the probable symptoms they are experiencing can opt to undergo the test in the nearest health clinic or hospital. But there is also an option for ordering a COVID home test kit for those who do not want to go out for safety purposes.


Rapid Antigen Test


This COVID-19 test is also known as the “rapid test” because it only takes 20-30 minutes for the results to come out. Also, companies with a huge workforce prefer it because of its quick turnaround time, as it is also less expensive than the PCR test. But there are some cases that the rapid antigen test fails to deliver an accurate result, especially when “false positives” happen. When a patient experiencing the symptoms tests negative, it pushes one to undergo an RT-PCR test for an affirmative result.


Check out this infographic to know how PCR and Antigen Tests work.

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