Jalan Kartika Plaza No.90, Kuta, Badung Regency, Bali, Indonesia

The Difference Between PCR and Rapid Antibody Tests

Our clinic is located in the heart of the Kuta area and is within the reach of the tourist areas of Seminyak and Nusa Dua.

COVID-19 Update

The Difference Between PCR and Rapid Antibody Tests

by Dhani Anggara, MD

This section, KMC Clinic will discuss about difference between PCR and Rapid Test for Covid-19. Because it is important to know when we should do Rapid and when we have to do PCR Test in the New Normal.



  • How it works. The RT-PCR test kits use actual swabs from patients taken from the nose or throat. This test determines the actual presence of the coronavirus and if a person is currently infected.
  • Accuracy. This is the gold standard for COVID-19 testing. Balolong said results using RT-PCR are 97% accurate or higher.


Rapid antibody test

  • How it works. A rapid antibody test requires the patient's blood sample and can only detect antibodies. The body produces antibodies in response to an infectious agent such as a virus. These antibodies, however, generally arise after 4 days to more than a week after infection, so they are not used to diagnose current disease.
  • Accuracy. The test results aren't reliable enough for individuals to act on. Doctors have warned that when these are used on people showing no symptoms of COVID-19, there is a high incidence of false positive results. Time is very critical when using this type of test. The IgG, or the delayed immune response test, is usually done 10 to 14 days after infection. The IgM will be detected in the first few days of infection, so if you’re to be tested late, the test will be useless, it will give false results.


However, it’s important to keep in mind that testing is not widespread or accurate enough yet for us to determine who returns to work or gets an “immunity passport.” The concept of an immunity passport, a document certifying that someone is immune to the virus, has been proposed, but we don’t fully understand if and how people can get reinfected yet.



  1. https://www.goodrx.com/blog/coronavirus-covid-19-testing-updates-methods-cost-availability
  2. https://www.rappler.com/newsbreak/iq/261869-things-to-know-polymerase-chain-reaction-rapid-anti-body-tests
  3. https://www.talktomira.com/post/coronavirus-blood-test-antibody-swab-test-pcr-saliva-test-differences


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