Did You Know That We Use Molecular Testing For Our Coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) Surface Test Kits?
What is molecular testing? And what difference does it make? Molecular diagnostic testing uses the “reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR).” RT-PCR is a method that “detects the presence of specific genetic material from any pathogen,” virus included.
RT-PCR is “highly sensitive and specific”, thus the diagnosis is more reliable. It also has a lower potential for contamination or errors because the process can be conducted within a closed tube. Currently, it is considered as the “most accurate method available for detection of the Coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) .”
SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, has a single strand of RNA. This strand holds the genetic code for the proteins that the virus needs to replicate.
Molecular testing requires viral genetic material from a swab. PCR is used to expand the genetic material and it requires DNA. The viral RNA must then be converted to DNA. This is done through an enzyme called “reverse transcriptase.” Once done, the viral genome can be copied multiple times until it can be analyzed and detected using fluorescent dye.
What Is Bacterial Testing?
Also known as bacterial culture, it is a test used to detect the presence of bacteria or fungi. Sample taken via swabbing is observed via microscopy. It is placed in a special medium to encourage the growth of bacteria.
The lab attempts to ‘culture’ or grow a wide range of organisms. This process may take several days.
A bacteria test for contact surfaces detects any respiratory-related virus. Microbial testing of surfaces is used in food handling facilities to verify if sanitation practices are up to par. The results of a traditional culture technique will usually include a total count of specific pathogens. In food preparation settings, this is crucial because the “hygienic status” of a surface affects product safety and the healthcare of staff.
Molecular Testing Vs Bacterial Testing
We use molecular testing to detect one copy of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. This allows the surface test to stand out as the most sensitive detection available.
Molecular testing has a higher efficiency rate and fewer false positives. This is because it specifically tests for the virus that causes COVID-19. The results come out faster—within 24 hours—because we work with local CLIA-certified labs.
We also use SARS-CoV-2 specific testing. Our molecular testing lab partners use testing machines authorized for use under the CDC emergency use authorization.
On the other hand, bacterial testing has a lower efficiency rate because it is testing for other viruses. Results also tend to take longer because of slow bacterial, petri dish procedures.
Why Should You Test?
As businesses adjust to the new normal, prioritizing hygiene has never been more important. Coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2)surface testing helps you protect your business. Got questions? Ask us now.
What Is A PCR Test? And How Do We Use It For Our Coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) Surface Testing Kit?
The PCR test is used to detect even the smallest amounts of viral genetic material. But first things first: What is the PCR lab test?
PCR stands for Polymerase Chain Reaction. It is a laboratory technique used to make multiple (millions or even billions) copies of a particular region of the DNA. The goal is to make enough so that the target region can be analyzed. PCR is used in molecular biology research, medicine, and medical diagnostics.
Here at Surface Testing Solutions, we use surface molecular testing via the PCR method for the detection of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.
SARS-CoV-2 is an RNA virus. RNA stands for ribonucleic acid. It is used in “key metabolic processes for all steps of protein synthesis in all living cells.” It also carries the genetic information of many viruses. As an RNA virus, SARS-CoV-2 has features that can cause our cells to mistake it for RNA produced by our own DNA.
Molecular testing uses RT-PCR.
This is a “nuclear-derived method which detects the presence of specific genetic material from any pathogen,” including a virus. To detect a Coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2), RNA needs to be converted to DNA. This process is called “reverse transcription.”
Scientists do this because only DNA can be copied or amplified. Instead of looking for the virus among millions of strands of genetic data, amplification allows them to look at a large enough quantity of the target sections to confirm the presence of the virus.
RT-PCR is extremely sensitive and has a lower potential for contamination or errors. It is currently considered the most accurate method for detecting the causative agent of COVID-19.
How Does The PCR Test Work For Surface Testing?
Once you receive your kit, follow the instructions for swabbing hard surfaces. These can include desks, tables, computer screens, phones, and Point-Of-Sale (POS) terminals. Other high-traffic and high-touch surfaces include keypads, doorknobs, door handles, and light switches. Make sure to wear personal protective equipment (PPE) gear before swabbing. The essentials are lab coat or gown, face mask, and disposable gloves.
Using the sample holders provided, ship the samples to us. These will be processed in our CLIA-certified labs. CLIA stands for Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments. CLIA certification means that our labs meet the federal regulations for clinical diagnostic testing. This ensures the safety of our labs and the quality of our results.
We will email or upload the results within three to five days. A positive result indicates the presence of SARS-CoV-2. However, it does not rule out that there could be other pathogens on the surface. This is because the test we use specifically tests for this virus.
Why Is Surface Testing Important?
Some studies suggest that SARS-CoV-2 can live on surfaces for up to three days. While this can vary based on various environmental factors, the fact remains it is a potent and constantly evolving threat.
Surface testing for the Coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) allows you to navigate this new normal. It helps you protect your business, so you can operate in the safest possible way.
Questions? Contact us now.
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