For more accurate diagnosis, Eureka Labs using PCR to test for 12 common STIs
Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing is the gold standard for molecular diagnostic testing and now and the Eureka Medical Laboratories is utilising its accuracy to test for other viruses apart from COVID-19.
For the first time in Guyana, Eureka is introducing diagnostic testing through PCR for the 12 most common Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) such as; chlamydia, genital herpes, gonorrhea, HIV/AIDS, human papillomavirus (HPV), and syphilis.
“In comparison with the traditional microscopy and rapid testing, [PCR] is more sensitive where we could use a minimum amount of sample for the initial process where it could be amplified and we could have more reliable,” Medical Microbiologist at Eureka, Melissa Kalladeen said at a press briefing on Thursday.
PCR testing was only being done for COVID here and according to Eureka’s Director Andrew Boyle, while it is costly and lengthy, the results produced are between 90 to 100 per cent accurate.
“PCR is the gold standard for testing and it is expensive but you cannot beat PCR,” Boyle said.
Eureka will soon test for diseases like Hepatitis and Malaria using PCR. Boyle explained that with PCR only a small amount of sampling is required to determine if the patient is negative or positive.
With conventional testing for HIV, it takes months before a person knows their status.
“Very shortly we should be able to do HIV PCR, let’s say you had contact yesterday, in two days we should be able to tell you if you are positive or not with just a small sample that will be amplified,” Boyle related.
He further added that it is possible that persons can be misdiagnosed with rapid and conventional testing.
“Let’s say you have HIV and you do a test today and you test next two months it will say negative and that is a misdiagnosis but if you do PCR it will show up, it is highly specific and accurate,” Boyle explained.