‘PCR still best to detect virus’
Polymerase chain reaction or PCR remains the best test to be used for symptomatic patients of the Covid-19, a health official said.
Department of Health Usec. Maria Rosario Vergeire reiterated “PCR (test) is very sensitive and can detect the virus or the virus genetic material or remnants.”
Vergeire made the remark in response to Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri’s question on the sensitivity of PCR test kits.
“Due to the test sensitivity, the PCR result of Sen. Zubiri could be the remnant of the virus. It could also be false-positive result and/or cross-contamination,” she said.
Vergeire added there were reports that patients can remain consistently PCR positive for many weeks or they can test positive after days or weeks of testing negative.
“Recent available evidence suggests that eight days after the onset of the illness, viral culture had not been successful which correlates with the infectivity after the first week,” she said.
Zubiri said he skipped President Duterte’s State of the Nation Address after his reverse transcription-PCR test turned positive for the Covid-19, which was contrary to the negative result of his rapid antibody test. – PNA release