Molecular Testing


COVID-19 tests are critical to measuring the spread of the disease and determining how to handle the pandemic. The two prevailing COVID-19 test types – serology tests and viral tests – serve different purposes and have different limitations. Knowing the following facts about these tests will help you decide which test is tailor-fit to your needs.

Viral Test

What is the test?

A viral test is an oral or nasal swab or saliva test that looks for evidence of an active viral infection. There are two major types: a PCR test and an antigen test.

What does the test do?

PCR tests look for the presence of a virus’s genetic material, while antigen tests look for specific proteins on a virus’s surface. Antigen tests produce results more quickly, but may be less sensitive.

What doesn’t the test do?

Viral tests do not indicate whether someone was infected in the past.

How does the FDA handle the test?

The FDA formally evaluates these tests prior to use.

Serology Test

What is the test?

A serology test is a blood test that looks for evidence of someone’s prior infection with the virus.

What does the test do?

The test provides evidence thatsomeone may have been exposed to the virus in the past, potentially even if they did not have symptoms, by detecting antibodies specific to the virus.

What doesn’t the test do?

The test does not diagnose an active infection or identify who is protected from reinfection (antibodies have not been proven to guarantee immunity).

How does the FDA handle the test?

The FDA does not formally evaluate these tests prior to use, though a few have Emergency Use Authorization.

FAQ's

Have questions? Looking to book with us or learn more about our services? Check out some of our FAQs below.

Early on in the pandemic, especially when test kits were in short supply, only those that were displaying more serious symptoms were referred to get tested for COVID-19. Now with the call for mass testing and as people conduct testing as part of return-to-work or even travel protocols, anyone can reach out to BioPATH with a test request.
For urgent cases that need an immediate result, a prescription will be needed. This is so we can offer these urgent cases COVID-19 testing through Gene Xpert, a groundbreaking PCR test that guarantees results in just one day. Gene Xpert is currently reserved for urgent cases. Standard test requests will instead be offered a regular RT-PCR test which can offer results in no more than two days.
For direct handling of your test requirements, you will need to book at least 30 tests to proceed with BioPATH. For a smaller volume of tests required, you can still inquire with BioPATH, but we will be referring your case to our affiliate laboratories.
The test itself is Php 3,400 each, inclusive of VAT. Specimen collection is priced at Php 800 per person for 15-30 tests. For 31 tests and up, specimen collection will cost Php 400 per person.
For RT-PCR testing, our laboratory is equipped with fully automated Perkin Elmer Pre-NAT extraction and Thermo Fisher Quant Studio-5 real-time machines capable of doing no less than 1,000 tests per day. Results are released within 48 hours of receiving a patient’s sample swab. Meanwhile, for near-patient care testing with rapid turnaround time results, we use the GeneXpert. Results are available within 6 hours of receiving a sample. Due to the limited supply of Xpert cartridges, we provide the GeneXpert test on a priority basis and only for patients who need it most, per doctor’s request.For RT-PCR testing, our laboratory is equipped with fully automated Perkin Elmer Pre-NAT extraction and Thermo Fisher Quant Studio-5 real-time machines capable of doing no less than 1,000 tests per day. Results are released within 48 hours of receiving a patient’s sample swab. Meanwhile, for near-patient care testing with rapid turnaround time results, we use the GeneXpert. Results are available within 6 hours of receiving a sample. Due to the limited supply of Xpert cartridges, we provide the GeneXpert test on a priority basis and only for patients who need it most, per doctor’s request.
The costs for testing and specimen collection are listed separately, because we offer discounted rates for specimen collection if the test requirement is over 30 persons.
Yes. If you are a laboratory partner or hospital affiliate, we would already have a memorandum of agreement with your facility for special testing rates. If you are a corporation looking to avail more than 30 tests, we can also offer you a custom rate. Please get in touch with BioPATH for more information.
Yes we can accommodate home service, but only if the requirement is for 30 tests-up.
This is largely dependent on what the test will be used for. If testing is to be conducted for return-to-work or travel protocols, then the test can be conducted anytime. If testing is to be done to confirm cases of COVID-19, we recommend being tested 5-8 days after exposure for maximum accuracy of results.
We are currently catering to three types of customers – The first is affiliate hospitals and laboratories who have had to outsource COVID-19 testing to a trusted facility like ours due to the volume of test requests received. We also work with the private sector – organizations of all sizes who wish to test their employees for sampling, pre-employment or return-to-work purposes, and travel requirements, just to name a few. For private sector testing, we will need a requirement of at least 30 tests to proceed. We are also open to direct bookings from individuals. However, these cases will be referred to our partner laboratories for handling. In this scenario, we are unable to extend the same pricing and service level guarantee (turnaround time for test results) as what we promise for BioPATH-handled tests.

About Proactive Testing

The global fight against COVID-19 is getting a boost from improvements in the diagnostic testing field, with several tests designed to diagnose patients who currently have active viral infections. Diagnostics that can detect active infections are typically molecular-based, which help researchers detect the presence of the pathogen, through the identification of its genetic material or the unique markers of the pathogen itself. According to John Hopkins Center for Health Security, the viral genomic material for SARS-CoV-2 is ribonucleic acid (RNA), which remains in the body only while the virus is still replicating. In contrast, other tests identify COVID-19 mid-infection as the virus multiplies (antigen test), while another type -- the serology test -- identifies IgG antibodies, proteins produced by the body in late stages of infection.

While these tests serve specific needs that differ from organization to organization, molecular testing for COVID-19 is currently the gold standard in terms of reliability and detection. It has been valuable in determining who has the active infection and how to help stop the virus from spreading -- key information that will help the country's fight against the virus.

As one of the pioneering laboratories offering molecular diagnostics in the Philippines for 16 years, we at BioPATH believe that this is not something you learn overnight, or in the course of a few months. We have spent years upon years developing our lab team's expertise, in order to serve our customers best.

GeneXPERT®

For random access and near-patient care testing with rapid turnaround time results, BioPATH Clinical Diagnostics uses the GeneXpert. Results are available within 6 hours of receiving a sample. Due to the limited supply of Xpert cartridges, we provide the GeneXpert test on a priority basis and only for patients who need it most, per doctor’s request.

Cepheid has developed an automated molecular test for the qualitative detection of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. The test leverages the design principles of our current Xpert Xpress Flu/RSV cartridge technology, in which multiple regions of the viral genome are targeted. The test can provide rapid detection of the current coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 in as soon as 30 minutes for positive results^ with less than a minute of hands-on time to prepare the sample.

Standard RT-PCR Test with
Perkin Elmer

For traditional testing, our laboratory is equipped with fully automated Perkin Elmer Pre-NAT extraction and Thermo Fisher Quant Studio-5 real-time machines capable of doing no less than 1,000 tests per day. Results are released within 24-48 hours of receiving a patient’s sample swab.

The PerkinElmer® SARS-CoV-2 Real-time RT-PCR assay is CE-IVD marked and intended for in vitro diagnostic use. This assay provides reliable and high-quality results for the clinical detection of COVID-19 in human oropharyngeal swab, nasopharyngeal swab, bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL), sputum, plasma or serum samples.

Read More About COVID-19

SARS-CoV-2 or Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 is the virus that causes the coronavirus disease, or COVID-19. Viruses and the diseases they cause often have different names. People often know the name of a disease, but not the name of the virus that causes it.

Read more

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