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PCR testi


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PCR Test

One of the main concerns on the minds of society today is the spread of the disease, especially after a long period of COVID-19 precautions. In the case of this common disease, people who come into contact with infected people or show symptoms of the disease can learn whether they are sick or not by having tests for the disease in health institutions. There are several different COVID-19 tests for this. COVID-19 tests are performed to determine whether individuals have been infected with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19 disease, momentarily or in the past. In this way, it is possible to detect sick individuals and to help them prevent the spread of the disease by taking various measures for a temporary period.

What is PCR Test?

The PCR test, also known as molecular testing, detects whether the genetic material of the virus is present in samples taken using a laboratory technique called polymerase chain reaction, or PCR for short. The genetic material that we are trying to detect is the RNA fragments of the virus. Unlike other tests, it is a test to detect the direct presence of the virus, not the antibodies that the body normally produces. For this reason, it is necessary to detect the presence of the virus in the sample taken. Antibodies, on the other hand, can be detected more easily because they are more common in the circulation.

Since PCR tests can provide identification at the genetic level, in addition to the diagnosis of coronavirus, they have been used for a long time for forensic medicine, paternity tests, DNA analysis, diagnosis of many viruses, bacteria and parasites such as HIV and Hepatitis B, diagnosis of genetic diseases, cancer detection, and prenatal diagnosis.

The PCR test is currently recommended by the World Health Organization to diagnose the current coronavirus infection. The accuracy rate is very high when these tests are performed by highly trained personnel in certified laboratories.

How is the PCR Test Done?

Sampling for PCR testing is done with the help of a cotton swab, which is advanced from the nostril to the throat of the individual.

The swab taken is placed in an acidic liquid solution heated to 56°C, which causes the lipid envelope of the SARS-CoV-2 virus to break down and expose its viral RNA. The RNA from this sample is then amplified hundreds of millions of times to make the virus detectable.

If the samples taken are analyzed in the same place, the results can be obtained within minutes, but unfortunately, the results can be obtained in a few days, considering that there are queues and delays in the testing process due to the density, or sending to another laboratory for testing. can be considered. PCR tests are very accurate when properly performed by a healthcare professional.

Positive results obtained in PCR assays are highly accurate, as they indicate that a suitable match has been found for the genetic material sought. However, a negative result does not mean that infections based on these viruses do not exist; The possibility of false negatives of the test should not be overlooked. The diagnostic process can always involve more steps, depending on the symptoms, possible exposures, and the physician's clinical observations.

Where is the PCR Test Performed?

Individuals who want to have a PCR test should contact their doctor and express their situation. The doctor should describe both the condition that may have caused the exposure and the signs and symptoms present. If the doctor thinks you need a test for COVID-19, they will point it out. The PCR test is performed in our country by taking samples in health institutions approved by the Ministry of Health and obtaining the result in laboratories approved by the ministry.

Antibody Test

Other antibody tests, called rapid tests, are also available. These tests detect the presence of antibodies in the blood and determine the immune response, but do not directly detect the presence of the virus.

When the body's immune system encounters the virus, it produces various molecules called immunoglobulins in response to it. The principle of antibody assays is to determine whether the relevant virus-specific immunoglobulins are present in the body; In this regard, antibody tests are considered indirect tests.

The biggest feature of these tests is to measure whether the body is immune to the coronavirus; Considering that immunoglobulins rise within 4-7 days after contact with the virus and remain high after the disease, they are very useful tests used to determine whether a person has had a coronavirus infection and whether he has immunity.

What to Do If The Covid-19 PCR Test Is Positive?

A positive Covid-19 test means that the virus is present at the time the individual takes a sample for that test. From this point on, the individual should carefully monitor their symptoms. It should also take various steps to prevent the spread of the virus. These steps include contacting the doctor to determine the treatment process, complying with the quarantine rules by never leaving the house if medical intervention is not needed, maintaining social distance, especially with other individuals at home, washing hands constantly, keeping the mouth and nose closed when sneezing or coughing, and phones, remotes, frequently cleaning and disinfecting common touchable surfaces such as tables, door handles, or water taps, and preventing objects such as cutlery, knives and glasses from coming into contact with others.

What to Do if the Covid-19 PCR test is Negative?

A negative result for the PCR test means that SARS-CoV-2 RNA was not found above the detection limit in the sample collected. However, a negative result does not completely exclude the presence of COVID-19 and should not be used as the sole basis for treatment or patient management decisions.

When diagnostic tests are negative, the possibility of a false-negative result should also be considered in the context of a patient's very recent exposure to the virus and the presence of clinical signs and symptoms consistent with COVID-19. The possibility of a false-negative result should be considered, particularly if a patient's current exposure or clinical appearance indicates that they are likely to have COVID-19. On the other hand, other differential diagnoses that may cause similar symptoms and complaints should also be considered.

How is COVID-19 transmitted?

An individual can contract COVID-19 from contact with another infected person. The disease can be spread from person to person through droplets released from the nose or mouth when an infected person sneezes, talks, breathes, or coughs. There is also a high probability that these droplets will be transmitted through the movement of these droplets from the hands of individuals to various surfaces.

Whether the test results are positive or negative, it is very important to continue to take preventive measures for both the individual's own health and other individuals around him, for this epidemic to end as soon as possible and for a return to normal life.

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