December 8, 2022

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How reliable are self-tests at Omigron?

A kindergarten child and his mother are waiting at home for the results of a corona self-examination.

Image: dpa

Self-tests offer multiple orientations in infections. Reports that the tests are less reliable in the case of the Omicron variant cause uncertainty. What matter and what should you focus on?

Are Omigran’s antigen self-tests less reliable?

There are numerous antigen self-tests on the international market. And not everyone has the same benefit. Later this year, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) launched an investigation and caused a stir. Accordingly, some of the tested Sars-CoV-2 antigen tests did not show sufficient sensitivity when detecting the Omigron variant. The commission said this could lead to false negative results.

However, the Central Office of Public Health explains that when asked to compare the Omigron and Delta types, “there is currently no large error limit on quick test results in general”.

The German Paul Earlich Institute (PEI) also clarifies everything. It has 245 different varieties in Germany in December Tests were verified. 199 passed the examination (Here The full list is available), so they have proven to be sensitive enough to diagnose a corona virus infection. PEI writes on its website that most of these tests are thought to be able to “diagnose omigran infection”.

So are not many mutations in omigran a problem for experiments?

That cannot be said in general. However, according to the PEI, this applies to most available tests. These react to the so-called nucleo-protein (N-protein) of the corona virus. And unlike spike protein (S protein), it is slightly susceptible to mutations. “The final, quality and quantitative report requires further investigations, especially comparative studies with samples of omigran-affected individuals,” says the PEI.

Like the “Spiegel” news magazine Reported, There is at least some evidence that in the case of Omikron some rapid tests give a positive result only when the affected person already has symptoms. According to small U.S. studies that have not yet been reviewed, rapid antigen tests from both manufacturers showed positive results only in the case of Omigron breakthrough infections two to three days after the salivary PCR test. In this context, it is debatable whether the viral load in saliva may be more severe in the salivary gland than in the nasal passages, and whether rapid tests with a throat swab may be performed more rapidly.

How reliable are self-tests in general?

According to the meta study “Cochrane Review”Bayerischer Rundfunk reports that rapid antigen testing of infected people may be more reliable in the first week after the first symptoms appear. Then the virus load on the throat and larynx is high. According to the study, tests have correctly identified an average of 72 percent of Govt 19 infections. However, in the case of asymptomatic individuals, the success rate is reduced to 58 percent.

BAG told Blue News that the tests were not part of a national testing strategy. Even negative results are “no evidence that you are not affected”. The Paul Earlich Institute clarifies on its website, “Self-testing for professional use and rapid antigen testing are not designed to reliably diagnose Govt infection. They aim to “quickly and easily identify those at high viral load, potential infections associated with it and the risk of transmission to contact persons”.

Of the 27 antigen self-tests approved in Switzerland, 20 were studied in the PEI study, The “Sunday Daily” reports. They must all meet the minimum criteria, which means that at least 75 percent of the samples with the highest virus load must be correctly identified. No evaluation data are available for the remaining seven self-tests.

It is noteworthy that according to “Sonntagszeitung” the most popular self-tests in Switzerland did not perform well in the PEI study. These are Roche’s tests, Chinese manufacturer Acon’s product “Flowflex” and Chinese manufacturer Genrui’s test. Despite the “very high virus load” the trio did not correctly identify all the models.

On the other hand, less well-known tests such as the “Clinestest” offered by Siemens Healthnier, which is available at many kiosks, or the French manufacturer Biosynex test would be better.

How exactly should one use self-examination at Omigron?

German virologist Sandra Sisek, who handles self-tests in detail, recommends those with covit symptoms on Twitter: “If the first test is negative, test again after twelve to 24 hours.” Alternatively, you should perform a PCR test.

What to do if you have symptoms and the test is negative?

If you have symptoms of the disease, you should stay home and avoid all contact with others, writes BAG on request. In addition, it should be noted that in the current epidemiological situation, a negative rapid antigen test result does not guarantee that you are infected and free of infection. “Therefore, if you have symptoms despite a negative antigen test result, you should strictly adhere to compliance hygiene and behavioral rules, stay at home and minimize contact with others.”

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