NAAT-test

  • Coronasnelcheck.nl offers NAAT-tests of the RT-PCR type for the lowest price in the Netherlands: €79.
  • For more information see the page about PCR testing or make an appointment.
  • More information about NAAT tests: see below.

What is a NAAT test?

A NAAT test (nucleic acid amplification test) is a test that can reveal the presence of a virus. A special technique is used to reveal certain nucleic acid sequences (genetic material). These are often the sequences of a particular organism or virus, such as the Covid-19 virus (SARS-CoV-2). The genetic material that is released by this technique is quite small. As a result, the material is copied. This is the amplification part of the test.

How does a NAAT test work?

The performance of the NAAT depends on the type of test used. The most commonly used NAAT for detecting the presence of coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) is the PCR test.
There is also a TMA test and an SDA test. In all cases, a small piece of genetic material is copied and examined many times. Which piece and how exactly this is done differs per type of test. In a PCR test, a throat and nose swab or saliva is taken and analysed in our laboratory.

The TMA test, which stands for Transcription Mediated Amplification (also known as Grifols), requires a sample to be removed from the upper respiratory tract using a cotton swab, just like PCR tests. The TMA test is also characterised by its high specificity and sensitivity, making it very reliable.

This NAAT technology measures relative light units (RLU) and provides qualitative results (positive or negative) rather than quantitative results such as the PCR, where the results are then concluded to be positive or negative by the laboratory. The TMA process is a similar molecular technique used for diagnosis but is not exactly the same as the PCR. However, the TMA test requires a very specific technology that is not yet widely used.

It is important to note that the TMA test is also a molecular NAAT test that is comparable to the PCR test in that sense, but not comparable to, for example, the antigen rapid tests.

Some countries ask for a negative TMA test with proof of testing. Check carefully whether this is exclusively a TMA test or an approved form of a NAAT test and may therefore also be a PCR test.

For whom?

In most countries, a PCR test is used to test people for the coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2). The PCR test is in fact a type of NAAT-test. If you are asked for a NAAT-test somewhere, then a PCR-test is sufficient. As part of Covid-19 measures, there are entry restrictions in many countries. A negative PCR test with a medical certificate is required for travel to these countries. The entry restrictions can vary from country to country. Therefore, always keep an eye on the website of the national government: https://www.rijksoverheid.nl/onderwerpen/coronavirus-covid-19/reizen-en-vakantie/vakantie-in-eigen-land-en-reizen-naar-het-buitenland