Antigen Tests for COVID-19
With Results in 15 minutes, Antigen tests usually provide results diagnosing an active coronavirus infection faster than molecular tests. If an antigen test shows a negative result indicating that you do not have an active coronavirus infection, your health care provider may order a molecular test to confirm the result.
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How It Works
Antigen tests are immunoassays that detect the presence of a specific viral antigen, which implies current viral infection. Antigen tests are currently authorized to be performed on nasopharyngeal or nasal swab specimens placed directly into the assay’s extraction buffer or reagent.
Antigen tests are designed to detect proteins from the virus that causes COVID-19 in respiratory specimens, for example nasal swabs.
Tests return results in approximately 15 minutes. Antigen tests for SARS-CoV-2 are generally less sensitive than real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and other nucleic acid amplification tests (NAATs) for detecting the presence of viral nucleic acid. Continue Reading: GO TO CDC WEBSITE