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Saliva rapid antigen tests more sensitive than nasal

Updated: Aug 10

What rapid antigen test should you use to make sure Covid-19 does not slip under the radar?


Since the beginning of the Covid pandemic, the importance of being able to test for Covid-19 has been a continued focus. Now, as new variants emerge, the quality of rapid antigen tests is being questioned as there have been a spait of false results and many positive covid-19 infections that have slipped under the radar.


You may be asking: Aren’t all of the tests listed by TGA ok? Which test should I use? TGA has grouped rapid antigen tests into three categories based on sensitivity. These are:

  • Acceptable sensitivity - clinical sensitivity greater than 80% PPA

  • High sensitivity - clinical sensitivity greater than 90% PPA

  • Very high sensitivity - clinical sensitivity greater than 95% PPA

As a minimum, organisations or individuals looking for the best quality test should look for a test that the TGA has categorised as very high sensitivity (sensitivity is the ability for a test to identify a result when compared with a PCR. This comparison is then referred to as PPA or Percentage Positive Agreement, which is the percentage of time the results matched). The thing to be aware of however, is that confusingly, not all tests categorised as very high sensitivity work the same. This can lead to a false sense of confidence, or confusion as to why the test didn’t pick up a positive Covid-19 infection. Choose a test that picks up infection as early as possible

Click here or on the image above to play the Limit of Detection Explainer Video.


We all know that the earlier you can determine a positive result, the earlier you can isolate, and the risk of passing on the infection will be minimised.


Picking a rapid antigen test that provides an accurate and trustworthy result early provides peace of mind, and is the only way to stop potential transmission of Covid-19.


Once you have selected a test from the list of Very High Sensitivity tests, look for the documented Limit of Detection (LoD). The Limit of Detection is the lowest concentration of an analyte in a sample that can be consistently detected. The most important thing is that the lower the LoD, the better the test. A low LoD means the test will pick up the smallest trace of infection within the sample taken, meaning the infection will be picked up early.

A PCR test will pick up infection very early, as will a Gardian T3 Covid -19 saliva self test. Infection is detected before being infectious. All other tests categorised as Very High Sensitivity do not.


Detecting Omicron


Obviously, the ability for a test to detect Omicron has become a significant concern given that it is now the most dominant variant. If you are purchasing tests to test your staff and/or yourself, you need to ensure that they have been clinically tested against Omicron, and better still that the test data includes testing for ‘wild’ variants.


Saliva or Nasal Test? Which is better for picking up the Omicron variant?


Genetic testing of samples shows that saliva samples identify Covid-19 more quickly than nasal tests, and are better at picking up the Omicron variant.

Why you should only use the Gardian T3 Covid-19 Saliva Self-Test

  • Very high sensitivity, PPA of 96%

  • Lowest LoD (LoD of 10) with infection detected before being infectious

  • Clinically tested to detect Omicron

  • Saliva test, super easy to use, with a result in 10 minutes

  • Includes software to track, manage and show that you’re Covid free

Click here to order GardianT3.

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