Frequently Asked Questions

Does BioSmart test for the virus that causes Covid-19?

Yes, testing for the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes Covid-19 is performed in our state of the art laboratory using SAHPRA approved qPCR Covid Tests that detect two different SARS-CoV-2 genes: N1 and N2. There is also an internal control that detects the presence of human RNase P. A positive result means all three of these genes have been detected in the sample.

Why saliva and not throat or nasal swabs?

Saliva as a sample type has been proven to be more sensitive than other sample types, with the benefit of being non-invasive, and reliably self-administered. Self-collection of saliva decreases the risk of infection of healthcare workers

Why should we get tested?

In order to prevent the spread of the virus mass testing is critical. Many people, especially children, can spread the virus without knowing they are infected. Unfortunately the virus can be deadly for some people including the elderly, and those with diabetes or cardio vascular disease are ecpecially at risk. The SARS-CoV-2 virus is already responsible for over Covid-19 1 million deaths globally. Testing identifies both symptomatic and asymptomatic carriers of the SARS-COV-2 so they can self isolate, minimising the risk of transmission. This not only gives those who are free of the virus a greater sense of security when returning to work and everyday life but also is the most effective way of protecting everyone.

Why should we test every week?

When combined with regular hand washing, mask-wearing and social distancing, regular repeat testing can quickly identify those with the virus, preventing

How to collect a sample correctly?

How to the samples reach the lab?

Samples must be packaged in the biohazard pouches as instructed. They are transported from all over the country to hte lab in Cape Town by Aramex who are licensed to transport biological samples. Self-collected samples will be collected for overnight delivery from designated collection points, enabeling next day testing & results.

What if I need advice regarding my results?

Please email with your questions. For general Covid-19 related quieries, please click here to go to South Africa's Covid-19 resource website

Our policy regarding the protection of your personal information?

We are fully compliant with the Protection of Personal Information Act (or POPI Act) - which became a legal requirement in June 2020. For more information, please contact us.

What if I have a complaint?

If you have a compliant, please contact us and we will do our best to resolve the issue.

Sample acceptance or rejection?

Samples will be rejected if full payment for the test has not been recieved. On payment, you will recieve a test TOKEN. It is critical that you include the TOKEN number and your details in the return biohazard pouch with your sample(s). Samples must be taken only as instructed. We will accept both the dry blood spot sample and the saliva sample from the same patient in the biohazard pouch. Remember to include the dessicant with the dry blood spot filter paper. Only samples from ONE patient per pouch. Patient details MUST be included in the biohazard pouch.

What factors can influence the PCR test result?

The PCR test is run on saliva (NOT sputum). The difference between the two is big - sputum being thick and lumpy and is coughed up from your lungs. It is important to follow the in-pack instructions when taking any samples. For the saliva sample, rinse your mouth with water 30 mins before taking the sample. Do not eat or drink anything after rinsing your mouth. Drinking tea, coffee or caffeinated drinks will prevent the enzymes in the PCR reaction from working, while drinking water will dilute the sample and may return a false negative result.


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