As the Coronavirus dominates worldwide, countries are using Real Time PCR Test, one of the most accurate laboratory methods to detect, track and study the Covid-19 infection. But as more and more people take the COVID19 RT PCR Test, it is time you know what RT-PCR test is and how it works?
Here’s an informative guide on Corona RT PCR Test, viruses, and genetics.
What is real time RT–PCR?
The polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test for COVID-19 is a nuclear-derived method for detecting specific genetic material in any pathogen such as a virus.
Traditionally, the method used radioactive isotope markers to identify targeted genetic materials. But over the years, subsequent refining has replaced isotopic labelling with special markers.
Conventional RT-PCR test provided the test results at the end of the process, but now with the new technique, results can be seen immediately while the process is still going on.
Real Time PCR Test for Travel is one of the most widely used laboratory methods for detecting Coronavirus.
What is a virus?
A virus is a microscopic organism consisting of genetic material surrounded by a molecular envelope. This genetic material can either be DNA or RNA.
DNA is a two-strand molecule that is found in all living organisms. This DNA holds the genetic code or blueprint for how the organisms are formed and developed.
RNA is usually a one-stand molecule. It duplicates, transcribes, and transmits some of the genetic code to proteins. This RNA synthesizes and carries out functions that keep these organisms alive. There are different variations of RNA which are responsible for transcribing, copying, and transmitting.
Coronavirus only contains RNA. That means that this virus relies on infiltrating healthy cells to multiply itself and survive. As these viruses go inside the cell, they use their own genetic code. RNA takes control of the cells and reprogrammed the cells, transforming them into virus-making factories.
If scientists want to detect COVID-19 virus inside the body, they have to use COVID RT PCR to convert the RNA to DNA. This entire process is called ‘reverse transcription”.
In this process, DNA is copied or amplified. The process is a crucial part of the real time PCR test process for identifying the virus.
Scientists amplify a part of the transcribed viral DNA multiple times. Amplification is an important part of the process. Instead of looking for a minuscule amount of the virus among millions of strands of genetic information scientists try to get a vast amount of the viral DNA’s target sections to accurately confirm the virus.
Working of the real time RT–PCR works with the COVID-19 virus
A sample from the saliva or nose is collected. This is the common entry point of viruses including SARS-Cov-2 where it replicates before entering the body. The sample is sent to RT PCR Testing Labs, where it is treated with several chemical solutions that remove substances such as proteins and fats. RNA is extracted, a combination of a person’s own genetic material and, if present, virus RNA.
Scientists mix short fragments of DNA which link themselves to target sections of viral DNA. The mixture is placed on an RT-PCR machine. To conduct some specific chemical reactions, the machine goes through various temperature cycles to heat and cool the mixture. This process creates new and identical copies of the viral DNA.
The cycle continues and multiplies the virus. As new copies of the virus are built, the DNA strands marker labels release a fluorescent dye. The machine tracks the amount of fluorescence in the sample that can be seen real time on the screen. If above the standard level of the fluorescence is discovered, it means that the virus is present.
Use of Real Time RT-PCR
The COVID RT PCR Test technique is highly sensitive and specific. It can deliver reliable test diagnosis in as little as 3 hours. Though, some labs also take an average of 6-8 hours. Real Time PCR Test for Travel is significantly faster and has fewer potential for contamination or errors when compared to other alternative methods. The RT-PCR test continues to be the gold standard for the detection of the Covid-19 virus.
RT PCR Test in Gurgaon uses Covid-19 antibodies test to detect past infections. However, the Corona RT-PCR test cannot be used to detect past infections since the virus is present inside the body for a short time. You should take covid-19 antibodies test to detect, track and study past infections.