Technology is moving very rapidly.

Global Health Travel clinic are working with a number of laboratories for PCR testing now both saliva and also throat/nasal swabs

Some use PCR throat and nasal swab tests as used by the NHS. Technology, however, has now moved on and less invasive and easy to use test are now available.

Saliva tests technology is now available. These use 2ml of the patient’s saliva, which is stabilised, and analysed by a certified laboratory as part of a PCR test.

Note – Beware. These tests are PCR tests and are recognised by all countries as part of a fit to travel certification. Recently new style LAMP tests have been produced such as those being trialled by British Airways for entry into Hong Kong. LAMP tests are NOT recognised by countries as suitable for fit to fly certification. As part of the BA trail travellers are still required to have a PCR test on arrival. It is understood Italy also part of the trial have now withdrawn from the trial.

Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) is a method widely used to rapidly make millions to billions of copies of a specific DNA sample, allowing scientists to take a very small sample of DNA and amplify it to a large enough amount to study in detail. Samples are cycled through a range of temperatures.

Loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) is an isothermal approach to nucleic acid amplification (using a single temperature) and does not require the thermal cycling of PCR. As it is not limited by a doubling-by-cycle amplification, LAMP generally produces more DNA than PCR in a more rapid incubation time.

LAMP is a single-tube technique for the amplification LAMP is less versatile than PCR, the most familiar nucleic acid amplification technique.

As before at this time LAMP is not recognised for fit to travel certification.