Shortcomings Of PCR Swab Test

PCR Swab Test

PCR test is the most common test that is frequently used to detect coronavirus worldwide due to its efficiency. It determines the presence of an active COVID 19 infection. A PCR test can be done on any fluid but the virus mostly resides in the nasal pharyngeal area hence most of the samples taken are obtained from this area. This process takes a minimum of 10 seconds. Despite its effectiveness, a PCR swab test has its shortcomings. Below are some of the shortcomings involved.

The first shortcoming of the PCR SWAB test is the discomfort while taking the swab sample. The swab sample is supposed to be obtained from the area where the sinuses meet the throat. This process tends to be very uncomfortable, some people even term it painful. This can be a challenge, especially to those tested. In some areas, people evade going for tests due to fear of the PCR swab test.

The second shortcoming of the PCR swab test is the false-negative results in some cases.  The percentage of molecular tests that give, false negatives have increased from 2% to 37%. This mostly happens when a test is conducted in the earliest stages of the infection.

The third shortcoming in the PCR swab test is that it takes a while to obtain results. Time is what most people don’t have. In cases where the victim is aged and the immune system not too strong, time is not something they afford. The time is taken to wait for the result can result in serious issues that could have prevented otherwise. We have cases where a PCR swab test yields result after one to two weeks.

The last shortcoming of a PCR swab test is that it cannot detect the history of the virus in someone who has since recovered.

For more information on the shortcomings of a PCR swab test, visit our website at

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.