Not sure which COVID-19 test to use? It all comes down to medical value, said Jamie Phillips, MS, Ph.D., a molecular virologist at Roche Diagnostics who specializes in coronaviruses and has helped launch three SARS-CoV-2 diagnostic tests.“If you don’t have symptoms, polymerase chain reaction (PCR) is the best option,” she said. “If you’re within a week of symptom onset, antigen tests can give you a quick result before you go to work or an event.”
This chart highlights the key differences between rapid antigen and PCR tests. Consider these facts when choosing which test is right for you.
Roche Diagnostics experts Allyson Kozak, Ph.D., MBA, NRCC, a scientific liaison with expertise in SARS-CoV-2 antibodies; John Osiecki, Ph.D., a clinical microbiologist and chief medical partner; and Jamie Phillips, MS, Ph.D., a molecular virologist who specializes in coronaviruses and has helped launch three SARS-CoV-2 diagnostic tests; plus these articles from the National Center for Biotechnology Information, Science.org and Scientific American.
Have more questions about COVID-19 testing? Get answers here.