Updated: Jul 2
Earlier in March during the peak of the spread of the global pandemic, the World Health Organization (WHO) Director General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus addressed the public to leave a message for all nations--test, test, test.
Tedros said “identifying people with infections and rapidly isolating them” is the best strategy to contain the disease as it worked in other countries. It is the most appropriate approach to cut down the number of infected cases that continue to rise on a daily basis.
Having partnered with the national government of the Philippines and the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) group, ISPS was commissioned to construct the testing facility at the Philippine Arena last May and to provide daily sanitization for all seven testing and quarantine facilities in the country.
Now months into the quarantine period, we continue to uphold our role as the leading company for sanitization and disinfection service while providing consistent aid to the Filipino public through trusted COVID-19 testing.
Why is it important for people to get tested? Undergoing tests for COVID-19 can help keep track of those with current infection, those who have contracted the virus, and those without symptoms (asymptomatic). Since it is very crucial to identify those who are currently infected, Antigen Swab Testing is being utilized by many.
What is Antigen Swab Testing?
According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), antigen tests are also known as rapid diagnostic tests. This type of testing method detects a specific viral antigen, which implies current infection. An antigen is a toxin or other foreign substance which induces an immune response in the body, especially the production of antibodies.
The antigens detected are identified only when the virus is actively replicating which means rapid antigen tests perform best when the person is tested in the early stages of infection with SARS-CoV-2 when viral load is generally highest.
Antigen tests make use of nasal or throat swabbing. The procedure are as follows:
Your doctor inserts a long nasal swab (like a long Q-tip) into the cavity between the nose and mouth (nasopharyngeal swab) for 15 seconds and rotating it several times.
This may be somewhat uncomfortable. The body is not used to having an object in that area so it may activate the lacrimal reflex (discharge of tears). It may also trigger a gag reflex (feeling like you’re about to vomit) since the swab will touch the back of the throat.
The process is then repeated on the other side of the nose to make sure enough material is collected for the test.
The sample gets sealed in a tube and sent for analysis.
ISPS’ Antigen Swab Testing is less invasive because the antigen kits that we use are specifically made for the throat. Its best quality is that it has a high margin of sensitivity (close to 100%) in identifying patients with COVID-19.
In fact, authors of a study conducted at Wuhan’s Huazhong University of Science and Technology found that oropharyngeal or throat swabs significantly outperformed nasal swabs in terms of both sensitivity and accuracy.
The Kewei Rapid Antigen Test Kit is only used for auxiliary diagnosis of related cases and for the in vitro diagnosis during the pneumonia epidemic created by the Novel Coronavirus (SARS-Cov-2). For more details about our antigen test kits, read it here.
Difference between Antigen Swab Testing and RT-PCR (Swab) Testing
Like reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) tests, antigen tests usually require a nose or throat swab. But unlike PCR tests, which look for genetic material from the SARS-CoV-2 virus, antigen tests look for proteins that live on the virus’ surface.
Another notable difference is that rapid antigen tests are faster and easier to perform than RT-PCR tests. The most time-consuming part of the antigen test process is waiting for the antibody mixtures and the sample to mix completely but even so, this process takes mere minutes, given the small volumes typically used in an antigen test.
Mass testing is the cornerstone of our national COVID response. The Philippine government together with local government units, local communities, and the private sector works to increase COVID testing capacities in the country to mitigate the spread and effects of the coronavirus.
The efforts of ISPS to flatten the curve are manifested in the opening of our Manila and Pampanga clinics as well as our mobile home service for COVID-19 testing. All our tests are administered by a health professional and the results are interpreted and provided with a certificate, which can be used for domestic travel, by a licensed doctor.
For more inquiries about COVID-19 testing, contact us today or visit our Facebook for more information:
Phone: 0917 861 3850