COVID Testing & Supplies
Clinic Resource Group Holdings LLC provides all forms of Covid testing. Testing is now mandated in many schools and businesses and is critical to the safety of Americans across the nation. There are three main types of tests available, and soon there will be a fourth. CRG offers all these tests.
The newest test is called a Neutralizing Antibody test. This test looks for specific antibodies that are known to be effective against Covid-19 and the quantity of those antibodies. Knowing the level of these antibodies can help determine whether you are likely to have a high level of immunity based on previous infection or vaccination or whether you are likely to need a booster.
Molecular testing is the most commonly used and most accurate test to determine if a person is currently infected with SARS-CoV-2. It directly detects the genes of the virus. There are several types of molecular testing:
- Reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). PCR is considered the “Gold Standard” of testing against which other tests are compared.
- Nucleic acid amplification test (NAAT)
- Reverse transcription loop-mediated isothermal amplification (RT-LAMP)
Molecular tests have mostly been done in laboratories and may take several days to get results. However, new molecular tests have recently been introduced that can produce results in as little as 30 minutes and can be done outside of the laboratory. The most common method of taking samples is a nasal swab, but many tests can now be done using a throat swab or saliva.
An antigen test is similar to a molecular test in that it looks for evidence of infection, but it looks for viral markers called antigens – the spike protein on the virus – instead of genetic material. Antigen tests can be done quickly, with results available in 30 minutes or less (they are often called “Rapid Tests”), but they are not as sensitive or accurate as molecular tests, especially in people without symptoms. They are, however, simple, low-cost tools for large-scale screening and can help prevent community spread. They are done using a nasal swab. Some can be done at home and are available over the counter.
The accuracy of antigen tests varies considerably. Recently, a company we are working with developed an antigen test that has been shown to have results similar to PCR.
Antibody tests can help determine if you had the virus and your body is retaining antibodies in your system. It takes one to three weeks for the body to start forming antibodies. Antibodies are proteins that your immune system makes in response to infections or vaccinations. Regular antibody tests only test whether or not you have antibodies and do not show the quantity or the specific type.