Will covidSHIELD catch variants? Delta? Omicron? Can I tell which variant I have?
Based on all available information, the covidSHIELD test will be able to identify that a specimen which is positive for the Omicron variant contains SARS-CoV-2 (i.e. the Omicron variant will not cause a false negative). The covidSHIELD test looks for three genes that are unique to SARS-CoV-2 which is the virus which causes Coronavirus Disease 2019 (“COVID-19”). Those genes are S, N, and Orf1. If two of those genes are present, the specimen is considered positive for the presence of SARS-CoV-2. No test PCR test, including covidSHIELD, can identify with any degree of certainty if a specimen contains any particular variant. Some news reports have indicated that a missing Spike (or “S”) gene (aka “S-Gene drop out”) is indicative of Omicron. Unfortunately, what they have failed to report is that an S-Gene drop out is also a hallmark of Delta, the current most prevalent variant, and other variants. In short, The only way to know if the SARS-CoV-2 in a specimen is or is not a particular variant is by sequencing the DNA of the virus. Sequencing is a completely separate process that requires completely different equipment. While some positive samples are tested to determine which variant is present, variant testing is done on de-identified specimens. This means that the specimen cannot be tied to a patient.
Does the covidSHIELD test identify SARS-CoV-2 variants?
The covidSHIELD test will detect all known variants of SARS-CoV-2. This ability is monitored rigorously by Thermo-Fischer, the company who produces the reagents which is the part of the test which identifies the SARS-CoV-2 markers. The covidSHIELD ...
I don't have any symptoms. Is this a false positive?
It is extremely unlikely for the covidSHIELD test to produce a false positive result. In a recent study, the saliva test was shown to have a specificity of 98.9% and a sensitivity of 95.8% which makes it one of the most accurate tests in the world. ...
Could something I ate have caused a false positive?
No. SHIELD Illinois encourages everyone to refrain from eating or drinking for 60 minutes before the test to prevent the specimen from being rejected by the lab or producing a result of INVALID. Eating or drinking before the test would not cause an ...
I tested positive with covidSHIELD and negative with nasal PCR or other test. Which result is correct?
Not all PCR tests are the same. They run on different PCR instruments, use different reagents, look for different genes, etc. etc. For example, the covidSHIELD saliva test is more reliable overall compared to self-collected nasal specimens. Nasal PCR ...
How reliable are covidSHIELD test results?
In a recent study, the saliva test was shown to have a specificity of 98.9% and a sensitivity of 95.8%. The FDA-authorized covidSHIELD test targets three highly conserved regions of the viral genome for detection. High specificity offered by ...