Antigen tests are mostly used to detect any virus, bacteria, or another microorganism that can cause disease in the respiratory system. They are usually easier to conduct and gives result faster than other tests. They are also used for detecting protein or any other substances by their properties as antigen or antibodies.
In which cases Antigen Test is important?
Nowadays, with the increase in air pollution, it is obvious to see an increase in the number of people having problems like breathing issues and diseases related to the respiratory system. Some diseases can be contagious and can spread rapidly if not stopped earlier. With the help of an antigen test, we can detect any virus or bacteria in your respiratory system which can be causing the problem.
One of the recent examples of respiratory disease is Covid-19, which shook the whole world and took millions of lives across the globe. Antigen Test is one of the ways of testing if someone is infected by Covid 19 or not. It can help detect the virus’s presence by detecting surface protein from the Covid virus from your sample. It can help in instant detection of virus, and one can start treatment immediately and take necessary control measures to prevent it from spreading.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Antigen Test
One of the biggest advantages of taking an antigen test is that it gives results faster than any other test. It takes about 15 to 30 minutes to give results and is inexpensive because they don’t require any special laboratory techniques, which is the second biggest advantage of this test. Talking about the accuracy, they are pretty accurate. They correctly identified an average of 72% of people having Covid symptoms infected and ruled out 99.5% of people with symptoms who were not infected.
Despite being the fastest screening method for Covid, the availability of this method is an issue. Most antigen tests have to be performed in clinics and hospitals because of the lack of testing kits. Another disadvantage of this method is its sensitivity. Sometimes the reports can be falsely negative because of the insufficient amount of infected protein in the sample, making it less accurate than other tests.
Most antigen tests are accurate, but it is advised that even if the result of an antigen test is negative and you still have strong symptoms, you should go for another more accurate test.