How do rapid antigen tests differ from other rapid tests?
PCR rapid test:
Unlike antigen tests, PCR rapid tests are based on the polymerase chain reaction (PCR), just like the well-known PCR laboratory tests. However, the two PCR tests differ in terms of duration and reliability: In the PCR rapid test, a swab is taken from the oral pharyngeal region and analyzed on site, so that the tests show a result after just a few hours. However, it is only possible to read whether the result is positive, negative or unclear.
PCR rapid tests are used in special situations where one wants to find out quickly whether the person is infectious or not. This is used in emergency rooms, outpatient clinics or nursing homes, among other places. The sample collection must be performed professionally, otherwise the result may be falsified.
Antibody rapid test:
Antibody tests detect the immune system's response to the pathogen, but not the virus itself. If the virus is in the body, it forms antibodies after a few days. Due to the delay, however, the test is not suitable for detecting an acute infection.