Depending on the time of day it is done, the Covid test is more likely to be skewed

Depending on the time of day you get tested for Covid-19, the test would be more or less likely to be successful. Explanations.

Since the start of PCR and antigen tests to detect Covid-19, an unknown remains: there are sometimes false positives or false negatives. How is it possible ? An American study may have found a part of the answer … The test would be more or less reliable depending on the time at which it is done. Explanations according to Sage journals.

The study was conducted on more than 86,000 tests between March and August 2020, from Nashville, Texas, performed in symptomatic and asymptomatic subjects. They noticed that depending on the time slot the false positive rate could be significantly higher than at other times. In the evening, for example, we would be more likely to have a false positive, while in the middle of the day, the reliability would be greater.

Why are the tests more reliable during the day?

What the researchers assume is that our infected cells would release viral particles discontinuously throughout the day. They believe that the more the day progresses, the less we can be detected correctly. The best time would be in the afternoon, when the body rejects the most virions (which allows us to detect the disease).

This is why the day would be the best time to test, in order to have as much material as possible. This leads researchers to invite patients not to be screened at the end of the day or in the evening, to have the most reliable results possible.

Source : Diurnal Variation in SARS-CoV-2 PCR Test Results: Test Accuracy May Vary by Time of Day, Sage Journals, 26 octobre 2021.

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