IF YOU ARE A PATIENT SEEKING A TEST AT HOME.
WE COME TO YOU.
VISIT OUR VIRTUAL CLINIC AND REQUEST A TEST TODAY.
IF YOU ARE A PATIENT SEEKING A DRIVE THROUGH SERVICE, WE NOW HAVE A CLINIC IN PENRITH
MONDAY TO FRIDAY
10.00 AM – 4.00 PM
Established in 1998, Histopath has always provided specialised testing focused on the highest standards of quality and personalised service. Our aim is to work together with doctors, patients and NSW Health to increase accessibility to quality PCR testing for Covid-19. When a doctor refers a patient to Histopath for COVID-19 testing, there are 4 simple steps.
Histopath covid-19 testing faq
About histopath molecular testing
Histopath has been performing molecular testing since 2014 and was one of the first practices in Australia to introduce molecular testing for the diagnosis of gastrointestinal infections. As a result of the current pandemic, we have now added SARS-CoV-2 to our molecular testing panel and are working alongside NSW Health to provide PCR testing on swab specimens.
can any laroratory test for covid-19?
No. PCR for Covid-19 is a specialised molecular test requiring specific expertise. In order to claim Medicare for the test, the laboratory must satisfy the requirements of the National Association of Testing Authorities (NATA). Histopath participates in the RCPAQAP for Covid-19 testing and inter laboratory exchange validation with several major teaching hospitals in Sydney. Histopath virology is subject to accreditation by NATA to ISO 15189 and NPAAC standards for testing.
does a negative result mean that Covid-19 is excluded?
Although a negative result means Covid-19 is unlikely, in very early infection, the PCR test may be negative. In early infection, symptoms may also be very minimal. If there is concern after a negative test, it may be appropriate to remain isolated and repeat the test a few days later. A negative only applies to the time the specimen was collected and does not mean that infection developed at a later time.
Does a positive test mean covid-19 infection?
Yes, a positive PCR on nasal / oral swab is regarded by public health as indicative of Covid-19 infection. The test is very specific and indicates SARS-CoV-2 is present. People with a positive PCR are regarded as infectious and must isolate to protect others.
is covid-19 PCR sensitive?
PCR is an excellent test and is highly sensitive, able to identify minute amounts of viral RNA. Validation studies using specimens spiked with SARS-CoV-2 even at small concentrations, indicate sensitivity approaching 98%. In practice, however variations in sensitivity are related to variability in viral distribution and specimen collection. In early phases of the infection, there may be minimal virus present in the upper airways and testing can therefore be negative. It is reported in some patients, that the virus infects the lungs, possibly sparing the upper airways and in these patients, changes on CT scan may precede a positive swab PCR. Quality of collection is important. Reports indicate that equivalent results can be obtained using either nasopharyngeal swabs versus a combination of mid terbinate nasal swabs and oral swabs. There does not seem to be significant variations in sensitivity between self collected swabs or healthcare worker collected swabs, although in both cases there needs to be care to follow directions and take time to obtain a good sample.
Does histopath test for other respiratory viruses?
Currently Histopath is testing only for Covid-19, but can arrange testing of other virus if required.
Why self collect?
Self collection protects our healthcare workers from exposure to potential infection. It is also far more convenient and efficient to self collect, rather than attend a clinic or drive through centre. It also provides greater ease of access for some groups, such as the elderly.
What is the turn around time for a result?
Depending on the time of collection, a result may be available later the same day, or on the next day. The laboratory performs tests 7 days a week.
are all covid-19 PCR tests equal?
Yes, there are a number of different manufacturers of tests for SARS-CoV-2 PCR and several different equipment platforms that can be used. Major ones include Roche Diagnostics, ThermoFisher Scientific and Genetic Signatures. All major companies have validated the assays to a high standard. Some tests detect different molecular targets on the virus, and there is an advantage for a laboratory using different tests to enable cross confirmation of positive cases.
What covid-19PCR test does histopath use?
Histopath uses multiple including Roche, ThermoFisher, Genetic Signatures and Viasure. Having the ability to use different platforms provides the ability to cross check assays and to have a contingency in the event that consumable supplies are delayed.
is self collection acceptable?
Yes, Histopath provides a kit for self-collection which is listed with the Therapeutic Goods Association (TGA). The kit comes with detailed instructions and a video is provided for patients to view prior to collection. If instructions are followed carefully and virus is present in the upper nasopharynx, the sensitivity is very high. The method of collection is accepted by NSW Health. Self sampling may be contraindicated in situations where a patient is unable to perform the collection, or if there is concern that a patient will intentionally collect a poor sample for example with the aim of getting a negative result to travel or return to work.
Any further questions
Please contact us and discuss with one of our pathologists.
ordering the test
DETAILS OF THE COLLECTION KIT The collection kit is designed for self collection. The sensitivity of self collection has been validated and is comparable to healthcare worker collection, provided instructions are followed carefully. The kit contains instructions. All patients are contacted by the laboratory prior to receipt of the kit and are sent an instructional video to watch. Our doctors are available to assist via phone if collection advice is required.
INSTRUCTIONS FOR ORDERING THE TEST The test is ordered by a doctor, via fax or email. The collection kit is provided free of charge and the test is bulk billed, so there is no cost to the patient. When ordering the test, please request Covid-19 PCR on the request form. Tests can be ordered at any time. The laboratory collects specimens and performs testing 7 days a week.
RESULTS NOTIFICATION Results are generally available the next day. If you use HealthLink, the results will be delivered electronically. Results are also faxed. Patients will receive their result via a secure text message. All positive results will be telephoned to the patient and doctor. All results are also notified to Public Health.