Molecular tests (nasal and oropharyngeal swabs) - ISS (EN)
SPECIAL ON COVID-19
Everything you need to know
The main and most reliable diagostic tool is the so-called nasal /oro-pharyngeal swab which is a test that detects the genome (RNA) of the SARS-Cov-2 virus in the biological sample using the RT-PCR method. This test has very high sensitivity and specificity, in other terms it is highly effective in identifying individuals who are positive and hence the number of false positives is very low. It also identifies individuals who are not affected. The results of this swab test are available in three/six hours.
Molecular swabs are the first choice, for instance, for symptomatic cases, for close contacts with symptoms of confirmed cases, for the screening of healthcare workers, for carers and family members of fragile individuals and for peaple who need to move to shared living facilities or hospitals.