COVID-19

PCR Study Shows That Testing For Omicron Should Focus On The Throat

The stupid thing in the story of the antigen is that samples are taken from the nose which makes the tests unreliable all together.

medrxiv

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These researchers show that test samples should be taken from the throat and not from the nose when testing for Omicron.

The stupid thing in the story of the antigen is that samples are taken from the nose which makes the tests unreliable all together.

Abstract

The Omicron variant is characterised by more than 50 distinct mutations, the majority of which are located in the spike protein. The implications of these mutations for disease transmission, tissue tropism and diagnostic testing are still to be determined. We evaluated the relative performance of saliva and mid-turbinate swabs as RT-PCR samples for the Delta and Omicron variants. The positive percent agreement (PPA) of saliva swabs and mid-turbinate swabs to a composite standard was 71% (95% CI: 53-84%) and 100% (95% CI: 89-100%), respectively, for the Delta variant. However, for the Omicron variant saliva and mid-turbinate swabs had a 100% (95% CI: 90-100%) and 86% (95% CI: 71-94%) PPA, respectively. This finding supports ex-vivo data of altered tissue tropism from other labs for the Omicron variant. Reassessment of the diagnostic testing standard-of-care may be required as the Omicron variant become the dominant variant worldwide.

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