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GTR Home > > COVID-19 RT-qPCR Test


Test name



Purpose of the test


This is a clinical microbial test intended for Help: Diagnosis, Microbe identification



Click Indication tab for more information.

How to order


Not provided

Specimen source

Bronchoalveolar lavage
Nasal swab
Nasopharyngeal (NP) swab
Nasopharyngeal washes/aspirates or nasal aspirates
Throat swab


Molecular Genetics
RRNA analysis
  • BioRad CFX384

Summary of what is tested

Click Methodology tab for more information.

Clinical utility


Not provided

Clinical validity


Results are for the detection and identification of SARS-CoV-2 RNA. The SARS-CoV-2 RNA is generally detectable in respiratory specimens during the acute phase of infection. Positive results are indicative of the presence of SARS-CoV-2 RNA; clinical correlation with patient history and other diagnostic information is necessary to determine patient infection status.


Not provided

Positive and negative predictive values (PPV and NPV)

Positive Predictive Value: 97.1%; Negative Predictive Value: 98.2%

Comments about the test interpretation (e.g. clinical implication of test results)

Positive results do not rule out bacterial infection or co-infection with other viruses. The agent detected may not be the definite cause of disease. Laboratories within the United States and its territories are required to report all positive results to the appropriate public health authorities. Negative results do not preclude SARS-CoV-2 infection and should not be used as the sole basis for patient management decisions. Negative results must be combined with clinical observations, patient history, and epidemiological information. Negative results for SARS-CoV-2 RNA from saliva should be confirmed by testing of an alternative specimen type if clinically indicated.

Minimal microbe load test can detect

Limit of Detection: 5 copies / μL

Clinical resources

Practice guidelines

  • NICE, 2022
    UK NICE Guideline NG191, COVID-19 rapid guideline: managing COVID-19

Consumer resources

IMPORTANT NOTE: NIH does not independently verify information submitted to the GTR; it relies on submitters to provide information that is accurate and not misleading. NIH makes no endorsements of tests or laboratories listed in the GTR. GTR is not a substitute for medical advice. Patients and consumers with specific questions about a genetic test should contact a health care provider or a genetics professional.