No requirement is needed to perform this test, just provide your ID or health card.
Active infection diagnostic (AIDP) or virological samples and serological tests, not depending on the physiological condition, can be taken at any time. Our PCR results show the quantification of the cycle, so you can know if you are infective or not. No appointment is necessary for any of these tests, but it is highly recommended that you contact the laboratory to make an appointment, especially if it is during weekend hours.
In the diagnostic tests of active infection (PDIA) or virological tests, an oropharyngeal sample is taken with a swab, and for the serological samples, a blood sample is taken.
Extractions are carried out from 8:00am to 6:00pm, appointments are given every 15 minutes (8:00am-8:15am…) per group of people. Exceptionally, on Saturdays, appointments for PCR and rapid antigen will be given only for people travelling on the following Sunday or Monday.
PCR results are delivered within 6 hours after the collection; if the collection was done before 15:00h the results will arrive late in the evening (20:00h-21:00h) and if the collection was done in the afternoon the results will be sent late in the evening/early in the morning. ELISA results are delivered within 24-36 hours, and the results of both rapid tests are delivered in approximately 3 hours.
For the interpretation of the serological results you can download this document with the explicación serología.
- Active Infection Diagnostic Tests (AIDT) or virological tests
These tests are based on the analysis of samples from the upper respiratory tract. To take the samples, a swab is used and they are collected from the nose. Note that these virological tests are performed when the person has symptoms or has had close contact with someone who is infected. Therefore, during the incubation period, approximately in the first week and after 2-3 days of contact, these tests are used.
With the diagnostic tests of active infection it is detected if the virus is present in the person, that is why the oropharyngeal sample is taken where the virus is located in the case of having infected the patient. It allows the detection of the infection in the early stages. The difference between one test and another is that the PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) allows the amplification of a fragment of the genetic material of the pathogen, but its analysis presents a certain degree of complexity, requiring trained and prepared personnel for its correct performance. Therefore it presents the characteristics of high specificity and high sensitivity. In the test of the viral antigen rapid test is a commercial kit that does not present as much sensitivity as the PCR since in this test there is no amplification, but a SARS-CoV-2 protein is detected.
- Serological tests
These tests are carried out on a blood sample, and allow the identification of whether the person has been in contact with the virus and has generated antibodies, or for the study of seroprevalence. After the first week – ten days of close contact, it is recommended that these tests be performed.
When a pathogen is introduced into the body the immune system develops specific antibodies that act against that infection. These antibodies last for a time that differs depending on the pathogen, from a few months to a lifetime. During this period, while immunity lasts, the body is prepared to increase the production of these antibodies and thus neutralize the threat if it appears again.
Antibody tests, also known as serological tests, analyze a patient’s serum giving us information about the presence or absence of IgM/IgA and IgG antibodies.
The difference between one test and another is that the ELISA (Enzyme-Linked ImmunoSorbent Assay) comes to quantify the antibodies giving the exact amount of them, and the rapid antibody detection test only indicates the presence or absence of them, being this second one less sensitive than the first one.