No test is perfect, neither the Antigen Rapid Test nor the PCR test. The organization that conducts the test is responsible for indicating the limitations when reporting to the persons examined: which conclusions can be drawn from a negative result and which are not.
Via NOS news of 25-12-2020 at 16:37 it emerged that a frequently used rapid test is less reliable than expected. This concerns research by the Leiden University Center (LUMC) at GP outlets with Abbott's Panbio antigen rapid test. The telegraph goes one step further Christmas warning: Rapid test even worse than expected.
What exactly is going on?
The antigen test (Abbott is one of the 5 rapid tests that have now been validated in the Netherlands) can very quickly detect positive persons, within a few hours to 24 hours most contacts of these positive persons can also be traced and these persons can then also be quarantined quickly. . Many more unnecessary infections will then not take place and the virus will be reduced more quickly. This takes much longer with a PCR test.
The LUMC researchers wanted to warn people quickly because they were afraid that people will feel safe after a negative rapid test and will celebrate Christmas with family. It is up to the testing authority to warn at the time of the result not to associate an unfounded sense of security with a negative result, as will inevitably happen during the holidays.
The WHL (World Health Laboratory) gives everyone a written text that clearly indicates these limitations: Negative results do not completely rule out COVID-19 infection, especially if the test is performed very shortly after contact with the virus. A later repetition may be desirable.
See also: www.rijksoverheid.nl/onderwerpen/coronavirus-covid-19
In their short report of their study on 298 people, the researchers also mention the results of a much larger Dutch study (1369 people) where this Abbott test did come out well: sensitivity of 95.2%. They found only 60% themselves. This immediately raises the question: how can it be that their reliability is so much less? They could probably have spent their energy better on finding the cause of this difference.
What could be the causes of this difference? 2 possible causes are:
The PCR test is more sensitive than the antigen test. This is because the virus remnants are multiplied many times over. In the antigen test, a protein of the virus is measured. The antigen test, just like another test: the virus culture, fits best with the clinical picture. The PCR test is often also positive if no virus infection and infectivity is (any longer) demonstrable. See enclosed advice on antigen (rapid) testing from RIVM of 12-10-2020 (pages 5 and 6); 80th OMT report.
Quality of the collection: The Abbott test has been validated on the Nasopharynx collection, which is a deep nasal swab. Unfortunately, not every test street uses this method correctly. A simple non-deep nose or throat swab is also done. In their study, the LUMC researchers also refer to the results of studies from the UK. These were also less good, but these were people who took the swabs from themselves. That will probably not have been a Nasopharynx swab, but a shallow nose swab and thus means that fewer positives are found. The UK researchers were much more positive than the LUMC group: Rapid tests are a useful public health tool, even if they miss a third. See also: bbc.com/news/health-55426523 The WHL (World Health Laboratory) naturally pays a lot of attention to a correct collection of the Nasopharynx
What can be done to accelerate the reduction of COVID-19 even better:
Do as many quick tests as possible:
- Go to quarantine in case of positive results and quickly warn contacts to have quick tests.
- In case of negative results, remain cautious and follow the guidelines. The risk that you are contagious is a lot less with good samples, but it is certainly not completely gone.
More food / supplements of immune stimulating nutrients: see the WHF newsletter
Analysis of these nutrients in blood: see the Analysis Nutrient Status for a special low corona price.
For an analysis of the nutrition that is already being used and specific nutritional advice, visit the website of the WHF (World Health Foundation): www.worldhealthfoundation.info. Then go to the food meter, sign up and then enter your diet. If you do not achieve the daily recommended amounts (RDAs), you will receive advice to improve this. This way you can improve your immune system through food.
The WHF foundation has very limited resources and wants to simplify and improve the program. Participation is free, but a donation is highly appreciated. Your contribution will then be used to improve the program and h