Researchers at Cambridge University have now established a care point test that incorporates both forms. In Cell Reports Medicine, they explain it.
The PCR test and rapid antibody test are limited when checking for a new coronavirus infection. If the virus has passed away from the nose and the throat and entered the lungs at the time of the test, a PCR test will show nasal and throat swabs.
Antibody tests check for antibodies, but they occur on infection days after.
In 45 patients, the technique was attempted. Nose/throat swabs and blood serum were given. The authors also developed a two-part gold standard test, one which would validate Covid-19 positively.
The first portion of the study was combined with serums of patients with artificial SARS-CoV-2 viruses to see if the serum was antibody. The second portion consisted of the standard PCR exam. 24 of the patients had Covid-19 on this gold standard.
Overall, the nucleic acid tests could identify eight out of ten patients with Covid-19, but when combined with the rapid antibody tests, 100% of the Covid-19 patients were correctly identified.