PCR tests: why some experts consider them useless in the fight against the epidemic
Offered in medical testing labs, PCR tests may not be as reliable and helpful in fighting Covid-19, according to a recent US study calling for caution.
Regular hand washing with soap and water, use of hydroalcoholic gel in public places, use of a mask, social distancing, immunity tests, virological tests. Among the many sanitary measures implemented, in an attempt to fight the spread of the Covid-19 virus, there is one that seems questioned.
In any case, this is what reveals a recent American study, carried out by researchers at Harvard University in the United States, which analyzed "contradictory results of rapid tests" available to the population. These are PCR tests, which are performed with a nasal or saliva swab.
Covid-19: the effectiveness of PCR tests questioned, by some specialists
In this work, published on the website of the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health and broadcast by the New York Times, specialists acknowledge that these PCR tests allow "rapid testing of individuals" to take appropriate measures in cases positive results for Covid-19, such as isolating the patient or searching for contact cases that may have been contaminated by the virus.
However, they are concerned about recent "abnormal" results, which could call into question the efficacy and reliability of these PCR tests, which are widely offered in many countries.
As the results of these PCR tests are not 100% reliable and do not provide more information about the patients viral load and the associated risks of contamination, the study authors warn, in particular to external consultations. and health facilities, which use them on a daily basis to "diagnose and isolate infected patients."
"It is important that clinicians receive accurate information on sensitivity and specificity rates so that they can confidently use current rapid detection systems," says epidemiologist Michael Mina and his team.