Laboratory Methods for COVID-19 Diagnosis
International Blood Research & Reviews,
Coronaviruses are a group of related RNA viruses that cause disease in mammals and birds. Covid-19 infection occurs due to an RNA virus which is single-stranded, called SARS-CoV-2; this virus is similar to SARS-CoV. This review throws light on the available laboratory techniques used for testing coronavirus. Certain challenges are encountered during the development of a diagnostic test for a novel pathogen, which depends on sensitivity of the method, that is, the potential in detecting very low pathogen level for early laboratory diagnosis, produce little or no interference with other strains of the virus, and produce results rapidly. Since the time of incubation and clinical manifestation of the infection are relatively the same with SARS, the widespread and effect of COVID-19 globally serve as the basis why the development of quick and reliable laboratory methods are necessary. Samples that could be collected for covid-19 testing includes blood (especially for screening purpose), nasal and throat swab. Currently, the gold standard method for laboratory diagnosis of Covid-19 infection is RT-PCR, which serves as a confirmatory method for Covid-19 testing. EIA and SVN laboratory techniques are other techniques used in detecting the viral infection. In addition, Rapid Diagnostic Testing (RDT) are currently developed for point-of-care testing, and often used as a screening method of Covid-19 infections. Early detection of the virus remains the primary focus for the treatment and control of SARS-CoV-2 infections. Therefore, this review was aimed at the available laboratory methods used in the diagnosis for coronavirus infection.
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