Antigen tests for Covid-19 based on saliva swabs are currently available in Greece. These tests are less costly, simpler to do, and they provide fast results in detecting coronavirus. Their results are available 15 minutes after sampling.
They have a 95% success rate, facilitating frequent testing of the same individual in the same month, state-run news agency amna reported on Sunday.
In addition, they are easier to use with children.
Previously, two tests for the virus were generally available: the antigen test (often called “rapid test”) and the PCR (“molecular test”). Both used nasal or throat swabs. The antigen test detects proteins related to coronavirus and is considered less reliable, as it can give false negatives. The PCR test looks for genetic material left by the virus.
The new tests require saliva collection in a test tube, which is then mixed with a reactor. Three drops of this are placed on a diagnostic kit and results are available in 15 minutes.
Their advantage lies in getting an immediate diagnosis, which could prevent the further dispersion of the disease during the waiting time that a PCR test would take.
A faster diagnosis would also mean faster contact tracing, and overall could help restrict the dispersion of the virus in the community, experts said.