Covid-19
Respiratory

Diagnostic Services

SARS-CoV-2 PCR Test

Our high-sensitivity SARS-CoV-2 assays amplify viral RNA through the use of highly specific primer/probe sequences and thermal cycles, while the sample is continuously monitored by software-guided LEDs to quantify the abundance of the target genes.

SARS-CoV-2

Is a single-stranded positive-sense RNA virus that causes COVID-19 with symptoms including coughing, loss of taste or small, fever, headaches and can lead to respiratory distress 1,2.  SARS-CoV-2 viral particles use spike protein to bind to its human cell surface receptor, ACE2, and gain entry into the cell with subsequent fusion with cell membrane 3.   The virus particle is uncoated, releasing the genomic RNA into the host cell.  The viral genomic RNA uses the host’s ‘machinery’, to produce more viral particles which are secreted from the infected cell 4.  As of the beginning of April 2022, over 21,400,000 people have tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 and over 187,000 have died in the UK alone with the Omicron BA.2 variant the most dominant in the UK accounting for over 93% of cases in England 5-7.

The SARS-CoV-2 PCR test targets the N, S and ORF1ab SARS-CoV-2 genes. The S gene, which codes for the Spike protein, gives the virus its ability to bind to human cells, and therefore its infectious nature while the N gene’s protein binds to and gives structure to the viral RNA. The ORF1-ab genes each encode polyproteins that go on to form a viral replication and transcription complex4.

Specifications

Infection

SARS-CoV-2 (ORF1ab, N and S genes)

Internal control

MS2 phage control

Limit of Detection

250 GCE/ml

Turn Around Time

Same day
*From sample arrival at the laboratory

Contents & Storage

Each SARS-CoV-2 PCR test kit contains:

Nasopharyngeal swab, a VTM tube
95kPa specimen transport bag
Return address labelled UN3373 mailing bag
Sample collection instructions

FAQ

How long does it take for me to get my result?

We guarantee a same day turnaround from when your sample is received in our laboratory.

How do I you know that my test result is accurate?

Our laboratory is an ISO 15189 accredited clinical laboratory. We adhere to strict internal quality assurance measures and are committed to providing a high-quality service, to consistently deliver clinically valid results.

1.     Stowe J, Tessier E, Zhao H, Guy R, Muller-Pebody B, Zambon M, et al. Interactions between SARS-CoV-2 and influenza, and the impact of coinfection on disease severity: a test-negative design. Int J Epidemiol. 2021 May 3;50(4):1124–33.

2.     World Health Organization. Coronavirus [Internet]. [cited 2022 Apr 13]. Available from: https://www.who.int/health-topics/coronavirus

3.     Jackson CB, Farzan M, Chen B, Choe H. Mechanisms of SARS-CoV-2 entry into cells. Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol. 2022 Jan;23(1):3–20.

4.     V’kovski P, Kratzel A, Steiner S, Stalder H, Thiel V. Coronavirus biology and replication: implications for SARS-CoV-2. Nat Rev Microbiol. 2021 Mar;19(3):155–70.

5.     UK Health Security Agency. Cases in the UK | Coronavirus in the UK [Internet]. [cited 2022 Apr 14]. Available from: https://coronavirus.data.gov.uk/details/cases

6.     UK Health Security Agency. Deaths in the UK | Coronavirus in the UK [Internet]. [cited 2022 Apr 14]. Available from: https://coronavirus.data.gov.uk/details/deaths

7.     UK Health Security Agency. COVID-19 variants identified in the UK [Internet]. GOV.UK. [cited 2022 Apr 14]. Available from: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/covid-19-variants-identified-in-the-uk