RT-PCR Test Procedure
Within a very short time, the PCR test has established itself as the gold standard in corona diagnostics. Due to the amplification of the viral genome during the test procedure, the PCR test can also detect lower viral loads, making the test significantly more sensitive than a conventional antigen rapid test.
The RT-PCR test is a molecular biology test, which also allows air travel abroad. In addition, our new test procedure is significantly faster and more cost-effective than the PCR tests commonly used to date.
Procedure of the RT-PCR test
You can book an appointment directly on our website. This will reduce your waiting time on site. It is also possible to visit our test stations without an appointment. Please note that only card payments are accepted on site. At "Kärntner Straße" appointments are mandatory.
Our staff members will collect your personal information on site. Please provide your eCard as well as an official identification document (passport, driver's license, ID-card).
After a simple throat swab by our trained staff, the sample is mechanically RNA-extracted in our laboratory. The extracted sample is then pipetted into a reagent (master mix) and processed in a real-time PCR device for approx. 45 min. The first step is reverse transcription (RT) of the virus RNA into DNA, which is then amplified by polymerase chain reaction (PCR). If virus RNA is found in the sample, an exponential fluorescence curve is visible on the real-time PCR instrument.
You will receive an e-mail notification about the completion of the analysis within 2 hours (Kärntner Straße), respectively 5 hours (other locations in Vienna & surroundings), respectively 7 hours (Linz) after sampling. In about 5% of all tests a follow-up test is necessary. If this should be the case, you will receive your result nevertheless on the same day.
The evaluation of your PCR test is carried out by our experienced employees with the help of a LIMS (laboratory information system) from Labordatenbase GmbH. You will receive the result with an EU-compliant QR code by email.
Useful Information about the RT-PCR Test
How much does a RT-PCR Test cost?
We charge 89 Euro for a RT-PCR Test. The sample collection by means of a throat swap is carried out only by medically trained staff.
Due to our strict hygiene guidelines and in order to guarantee swift proceedings, we only accept card payments.
How reliable is a RT-LAMP PCR Test?
The RT-PCR test is the gold standard in PCR diagnostics.
Thus, the RT-PCR is significantly more sensitive than an antigen test. The specificity of the method is over 99%. The viral load fluctuates during the course of the disease. Therefore, it may also fall below the limit of detectability. Thus, disease with Covid-19 cannot be ruled out one hundred percent with any test, including our RT-PCR.
What happens, if the test is positive?
If the RT-PCR test shows a positive result, i.e. an infection with Covid-19, a Ct value will also be indicated. If the test result is positive, you will be informed by telephone. Please go home and put yourself in isolation. Afterwards, call the health number 1450, which will inform you about the further procedure.
What is the use of a RT-PCR Test?
Numerous disease progressions, especially in young people, are very mild or even without any symptoms. A characteristic of a Covid infection is the possibility to mistake the disease's symptoms with those of an ordinary cold. Therefore, many people don't realize that they have actually gotten infected with COVID. For this reason many countries request upon entry a negative molecular biological COVID Test – a so-called nucleic-acid amplification test (NAAT). That is why our test is intended especially for travelers.
The RT-PCR Test is our most sensitive COVID Test.
Is the test result official?
Yes! Since FasTest is a scientific institution and only medically trained professionals take the test samples, the result of the RT-PCR test is official. You will receive the result with an EU-compliant QR code.
When must I not get tested?
If you have symptoms typical of Covid-19 such as B. fever, cough, loss of smell or taste, then please stay at home in isolation and call the health number 1450. This will clarify the further procedure with you.
How will the sample be taken?
For the RT-PCR Test sample material is needed from the throat area. A swab is inserted beyond the uvula to the pharyngeal wall and is rotated a few times in order to make sure that enough sample material is collected.
Many people perceive the throat swap considerably more comfortable compared to a nasopharyngeal (nasal) swab, which is conducted for Antigen Tests.
How does the RT-PCR Test work?
"PCR" an abbreviation for "polymerase chain reaction" refers to a biochemical reaction for the multiplication of DNA. In order to provide sensitive results, an RNA extraction is carried out beforehand using a state-of-the-art extraction robot.
The method of multiplication (amplification) then takes place in a chain reaction (chain reaction).
"RT" stands for reverse transcription and describes the conversion of RNA into DNA. SARS-CoV-2 is an RNA virus. The reverse transcription (RT) step allows the RNA genome to be transcribed into DNA. The DNA formed is then amplified and detected by fluorescence measurement.
The amplification is specific and only starts if the reaction mixture contains short DNA sequences, so-called "primers", which match the DNA of the sample. The "primers" are designed to match the SARS-CoV-2 virus. This makes a false positive result extremely unlikely.
How can we now assess whether the multiplication has taken place?
Due to the multiplication of DNA and the formation of specific by-products, the fluorescence properties of the reaction mixture change and lead to a curve increase on the real-time PCR instrument.
Samples that do not give a clear result in the first run or where the positive control does not show a curve increase in the respective run are retested. The DNA in the sample is illuminated with a light source with a special wavelength and the reflected light is detected. The stronger the reflected light, the more DNA is present in the sample. This double check further reduces already rare false positive/negative results.