Covid-19 Diagnostic Testing

"Real-time PCR is the gold standard for COVID-19 testing"
- Dr. Jay C. Butler, MD, Deputy Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

GRI can diagnose the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) infection using real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing. PCR testing detects very small amounts of viral genetic material in a sample by duplicating it many times over through a complex laboratory process called amplification. For patients presenting with respiratory symptoms, it’s important to also test for Respiratory Tract Microbiota (RTM). GRI’s Covid-19 diagnostic test will also indicate other potential respiratory pathogens. In addition, GRI offers a serological (blood) test which can detect lgG antibodies that may indicate past infection of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

Real-Time PCR for Accurate Detection of Covid-19

GRI has implemented a fast, highly sensitive multiplex diagnostic solution that contains both the assays and controls needed for the real-time PCR detection of RNA from SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19. The solution is approved for use with RNA extracted from bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL), mid-turbinate swabs, nasal swabs, nasopharyngeal swabs, nasopharyngeal aspirate (nasal aspirate), and oropharyngeal swabs from patients at risk of exposure to SARS-CoV-2 or with signs and symptoms of Covid-19.

PCR Diagnostic Testing vs. Antibody Testing for Covid-19

Real-Time PCR diagnostic testing indicates if a patient is actively infected with SARS-CoV-2. This test requires respiratory samples from the patient because SARS-CoV-2 is a respiratory virus. Nasopharyngeal swabs are most commonly used. Lower respiratory secretions, such as sputum and bronchoalveolar lavage fluid, are also used if a patient has pneumonia or lung involvement with infection. The PCR test detects the presence of characteristic sequences of SARS-CoV-2 genetic material (RNA) in respiratory samples of patients. If the viral RNA is detected, it suggests presence of the virus.

A different kind of test is the serological (blood) based antibody tests. Antibody tests identify if a person has been exposed to SARS-CoV-2 and has developed immunity against SARS-CoV-2 infection. GRI Labs also offers the COVID-19 Testing.