Bulgarian Professor: Antigen Tests Already Give Over 90% Accurate Results

Health | December 15, 2020, Tuesday // 10:03|  views

Prof. Iva Hristova, Deputy Director of the National Center for Infectious and Parasitic Diseases commented on the different type of tests.

PCR and antigen tests are by no means the same. PCR tests are much more sensitive and specific, which is why they have been used as the “gold standard” so far and were the only ones that we could rely on.

The latest generation of antigen tests are already over 90% sensitive, showing a fairly high level that we can trust.

European Center for Disease Prevention and Control has recommended that the results of the latest generation of antigen tests to be recognized for the presence of coronavirus, when there is a diffuse spread of the infection among the population.

Antigen tests are quick, easy, much cheaper, but it is good to be done by a doctor, not at home, because if the sample is taken incorrectly, it is possible to give a false result, explained Prof. Hristova.

 The positive result of an antigen test, especially in the presence of symptoms, is a reliable result for coronavirus.

 The PCR test first separates RNA from the sample and it takes more than an hour, then another several hours are necessary, which is why the results are so slow. The antigen test is based on a reaction that appears in the first few minutes and therefore the results are much faster, the specialist explained.

In any case, after the recognition of antigen tests, the statistics will increase, but it is unlikely that there hardly will be “explosion” of new infections, according to Prof. Hristova.

 Combined tests for influenza and coronavirus are available, but it may be too early to apply.

Tight measures have definitely paid off. They must continue if we want the distribution curve to go down permanently, Prof. Hristova is categorical.

The vaccine, whenever it is available, it will take time. We will have to continue to comply with the measures, she added. Regarding the lists of medics willing to be vaccinated, which are currently about 33%, Prof. Hristova said that this number is small. “I think this percentage will rise to 50”, she said.

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Tags: pcr, antigen


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