A new type of molecular PCR test has been introduced at Acibadem Sistina Hospital detecting several types of viruses which, together with the coronavirus, belong to a group of viruses that can cause severe respiratory clinical picture. It is a so-called Multiplex panel test that simultaneously detects specific gene sequences to prove the presence of coronavirus, and specific gene sequences to prove the presence of seasonal influenza A and influenza B viruses. Acibadem Sistina Hospital is the first hospital in Macedonia to introduce and perform this test.

With this test, the Hospital once again proves to be a leader in the application of new medical methods. Only one test proves the presence of the coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2), but also of other viruses that are characteristic of the autumn and winter seasons.

“Especially now, with the coming seasonal colds and flu, considering that the symptomatology of a patient with Covid-19 infection is very similar, almost identical to the symptoms in patients infected with another type of virus – it is important for the doctor to know the cause of infection and make complete diagnostic distinction in order that timely monitoring and care is provided to the patient. In times of panic, when every patient with a fever is considered to be suspected Covid-19 patient, it is of great benefit to timely and accurately diagnose the cause of the symptoms, which are not always a consequence of Covid-19 infection, says Srekjko Rajovski, head of the Molecular Diagnostics Laboratory at Acibadem Sistina Hospital.

Infectious disease specialists say that this test will be extremely important in this period, especially because seasonal flu and Covid-19 will collide. Many symptoms will be similar, and it will be especially important to make an accurate diagnosis early in order to respond with appropriate treatment. So far, there have been situations in which patients who tested negative for Covid-19 had manifestations similar to those of the coronavirus and were monitored in departments hospitalizing coronavirus patients.

This multiplex test at the Acibadem Sistina Hospital provides a complete picture of the patient’s health status, i.e. whether it is a Covid-19 patient or a patient infected with another type of seasonal virus. It is especially important that this test can be widely used in the younger population that is greatly exposed to viral infections and this will be of great benefit to schools and kindergartens. A child with similar symptoms can be tested in order to differentiate what he/she is infected with so that panic is not created. In anticipation of the period when seasonal flu comes, this test is considered a revolution in the protection of citizens.

These tests are also recommended by the World Health Organization.

The price of the multiplex test is identical to the price of the standard PCR test and costs 3,950 denars, and the results are obtained in 24 hours. The test is performed by taking a swab from the nose and throat.