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Difference between Antibody Test and PCR Test
Testing has use beyond only establishing whether or not a person has a virus. After a virus has been identified, its severity must be assessed to decide whether or not hospitalisation is necessary. Diagnostic tests and antibody tests are two types of testing. Molecular testing and antigen tests are two subsets of diagnostic procedures. Therefore, PCR tests are classified as a type of molecular test that looks for viral DNA. Blood antibody testing are one method of monitoring antibody levels.
What is Antibody Test?
Immunoglobulins, also known as gamma globulin proteins, are the building blocks of antibodies. Vertebrate blood and other bodily fluids include antibodies. They aid vertebrate immune systems in recognising and eliminating pathogens. This is why detecting antibodies in the blood is what an antibody test does. The human body naturally generates antibodies for self-defense, however vaccination may be used to artificially increase antibody production.
Testing for certain antibodies in the blood can reveal whether or not a person has been exposed to a particular virus or infection. The test only reveals whether or not the subject was previously infected, not whether or not they are now sick. A previous infection with SARS-CoV-2, for instance, is evidenced by a positive result for COVID-19 antibodies.
What is PCR Test?
Monitoring gene expression, determining the number of food-borne pathogens, determining the amount of a virus, and making a clinical diagnosis are just few of the many uses for the powerful molecular test known as polymerase chain reaction (or PCR). In vitro PCR is a laboratory technique for the enzymatic production of targeted DNA sequences.
This technique uses the naturally occurring enzyme DNA polymerase to multiply a specific segment of DNA through a series of replication cycles. The polymerase first binds to a certain DNA strand, and then it produces a new strand that is complementary to the first. Kary Mullis pioneered the technique in 1983, and it has substantially advanced our understanding of the genetic organisation of many different species ever since. The test looks for the virus's genetic material in a fluid sample taken from the nose or throat passages. It's a way to tell if an infection is present before antibodies are produced, and it's used in diagnostics.
Differences: Antibody Test and PCR Test
The following table highlights the major differences between Antibody Test and PCR Test −
The antibody test and the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test are the gold standards for determining whether or not a patient has contracted a virus. These two methodologies have continued to dominate COVID-19 testing even after the current coronavirus epidemic.
In contrast to tests that rely on antibodies or the body's immunological response, polymerase chain reactions (PCRs) may detect the presence of antigens directly.
A history of infection can be deduced from a blood antibody test. Due to the fact that antibodies are usually produced by the body a few days after an infection, rather than before, this test cannot be used to detect whether or not a person is currently sick.
However, a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test is a diagnostic tool for identifying infections in their earliest stages, before antibodies have had time to build. In vitro PCR is a laboratory technique for the enzymatic production of targeted DNA sequences.
To detect the presence of a virus, it first multiplies a small section of DNA many times over (by the millions or billions) before analysing the results.
Tests for antibodies in the blood can reveal whether or not a person has been infected with a particular virus or other infection in the past.
The method identifies the virus indirectly by examining the body's defences against it.
DNA polymerase is an enzyme that causes DNA to duplicate in cycles, and this is what a PCR test does to amplify a specific section of DNA.
The test looks for the virus's genetic material in a fluid sample taken from the nose or throat passages.
Antibodies play an important role in the immune system by assisting in the detection and destruction of invading pathogens. Detecting antibodies in the blood is what an antibody test does.
The PCR test provides definitive results, allowing for the isolation of infected individuals to prevent the spread of the virus.
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