A NAAT (nucleic acid amplification test) is similar to PCR as it detects viral genetic material and can detect the virus early in the infection. The test we use is called the Cue Covid Test. It combines PCR equivalent diagnosis and accuracy with results in only 20 minutes.
What is a Rapid Antigen Test?
The rapid antigen test detects COVID viral proteins but you need to have enough virus in the nose to detect it. One nasal swab can test for both flu and covid virus. We use the Sofia2 Analyzer which is only available in doctor’s offices. It is more sensitive than home based rapid antigen tests. Results are available in 15 minutes.
What is difference between NAAT & Antigen Test?
The NAAT is more sensitive than the rapid antigen test. The rapid antigen is dependent on how much virus (viral load) whereas the NAAT can amplify even small amounts of virus. Early on in the infection (<3 days) a NAAT is the preferred test.