United States regulators have approved a new type of COVID19 test that administrations officials have have promoted as a major component to open up the country.
The Food and Drug Administration on Saturday announced emrgency authorization for antigen test developed by Quidel Corporation of San Diego. The Antigen test can rapidly detect fragments of COVID19 protein in samples collected from swabs swiped inside the nasal cavity, the FDA mentioned in a statement.
The Antigen test is the third type of test to be authorised by Food and Drug Administration.
Currently, the only way to diagnose the active Coronavirus is to test a COVID19 positive patient's nasal swab for the genetic material of COVID19. Though considered highly accurate, the COVID19 tests can take hours and it is expensive, specialised equipments only found at commercial labs, Universities or hospitals.
A second type of COVID19 test looks in the blood for the antibodies, the proteins produced by the body after after fighting the COVID19 infection.
These types of tests are helpful for researchers to understand how far a disease has spread within a community, but they are not fruitful for diagnosing active COVID19 cases.
Antigen tests can diagnose active COVID19 cases by detecting the earliest toxic traces of the COVID19 rather than genetic code of the Coronavirus itself.
The Food and Drug Administration said that it expects to auhtorise more antigen tests in the near future.
Quidel said Saturday that the test can provide an automated, accurate result in 15 minutes.
The Food and Drugs Administrative department's emrgency authorisation allows us to arm or healt professionals and first responders with a frontline solution for Coronavirus diagnosis, accelerating the time to diagnosis and potential treatment, Douglas Bryant, CEO of Quidel, mentioned in a statement.
At the White House a genetic material test Abbott Laboratories also takes nearly 15 minutes.