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Talking Techniques | COVID-19 diagnostics: which test should you choose?

Series 2, Episode 1
COVID-19 diagnostics and detection miniseries: Part 1

RT-PCR, antigen and antibody testing; each has its niche and each has a flaw. But what are the key differences between each of these tests and what are the key things to consider when selecting the appropriate COVID-19 testing technique for you?

In this podcast, supported by Zymo Research, I speak to Senior Scientist in assay development Paolo Piatti in order to answer this question. Whether you are a concerned citizen looking for the best test to take to inform your behavior, or a researcher aiming to understand which testing systems you need to set up in your lab  this episode should have the answers for you.

In addition to these key points, Paolo addresses the importance of testing during the rollout of vaccine programs and issues of false negatives in diagnostics, examining what, if anything, can be done to improve the accuracy of COVID-19 testing techniques and programs.

For more information on COVID-19 Diagnostics, check out our In Focus here!



  • Introduction: 00:00-02:05
  • Zymo’s response to COVID-19: 02:05-03:15
  • Differences in COVID-19 diagnostic techniques: 03:15-05:45
  • Challenges in testing: 05:54-07:20
  • Deciding on the appropriate technique for the lab: 07:20-09:55
  • Deciding on the appropriate technique for patients: 09:55-10:46
  • The issue of false negatives: 10:46-16:34
  • Improving testing: 16:34-17:40
  • The importance of testing during vaccine rollout: 17:40-19:12
  • Final thoughts: 19:12-21:14

If you have enjoyed this episode, check out the rest of our COVID-19 diagnostics In Focus here!