- Nov 2020
If you get a positive PCR test and you want to be sure that what you’re finding is a true positive, then you have to perform a viral culture. What this means is that you take the sample, add it to respiratory cells in a petri dish, and see if you can get those cells to start producing new virus particles. If they do, then you know you have a true positive result. For this reason, viral culture is considered the “gold standard” method for diagnosis of viral infections. However, this method is rarely used in clinical practice, which means that in reality, a diagnosis is often made based entirely on the PCR test.
[[Z: A positive PCR should be followed by a viral culture test to see if you're dealing with a live infection]]
After a positive PCR test, you don't know if the virus is alive or not. To find this out you can add it to respiratory cells (in the case of a respiratory virus) and see if they start producing virus particles).
[[Z: Viral culture tests are rarely used in clinical practice]]
Positive diagnoses of COVID-19 are done base on PCR only.