Centogene starts rapid antigen tests at Frankfurt Airport


November 26, 2020, 1:58 p.m.

After the start in Hamburg, Centogene is now also offering a rapid antigen test in the smear center at Frankfurt Airport. This is more expensive than the normal PCR test and is not available during all opening hours.

Loading mechanism of the Lumipulse G1200 test machine for antigen testing.

© Fujirebio

Centogen has started offering antigen tests in Frankfurt am Main as well. This test, marketed as Express 2, is laboratory based. Since the laboratory is a few kilometers further in Hoechst, Centogene cannot keep the 30 to 40 minutes that the Fujirebio test normally takes.

Instead, it takes around 2.5 hours, including transport, to determine the result. However, this is still faster than the fastest PCR test from Centogene, which the Rostock-based company can test in a laboratory container on site.

The PCR tests called Premium 6 and Premium 24 will usually deliver the result within six and 24 hours. In terms of price, the antigen test is between the two PCR tests at 79 euros. The Premium 24 test costs 20 euros less. However, if the result is positive, the antigen test includes an additional PCR test. The Premium 6 PCR rapid test, on the other hand, costs 139 euros.

Limitations on antigen testing

Centogenes antigen testing does not offer all of the options associated with PCR testing, however. On the one hand there is availability. As in Hamburg, the availability in Frankfurt is limited in time. It is necessary to book an appointment for antigen tests and samples can only be taken Monday to Friday between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. During the rest of the time, including on weekends, only PCR tests that are carried out without making an appointment are possible.

The biggest limitation is probably the recognition of the tests. For PCR tests, there is the option of issuing an identity check and a medical certificate for the findings. The options cost nine and 25 euros, respectively. There is no such thing for antigen tests. When entering countries that require these options, more time must be planned for the PCR tests.

This is also due to the fact that antigen tests cannot rule out a subsequent infection as well as PCR tests. In addition, there is still a lack of long-term experience. But they are quite good at recognizing highly infectious people.

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