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Current Status of Laboratory Diagnosis for COVID-19: A Narrative Review

Authors Russo A, Minichini C, Starace M, Astorri R, Calò F, Coppola N

Received 22 May 2020

Accepted for publication 5 July 2020

Published 3 August 2020 Volume 2020:13 Pages 2657—2665

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/IDR.S264020

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Professor Suresh Antony


Antonio Russo, Carmine Minichini, Mario Starace, Roberta Astorri, Federica Calò, Nicola Coppola On behalf of the Vanvitelli COVID-19 group

Department of Mental Health and Public Medicine, Infectious Diseases Unit, University of Campania Luigi Vanvitelli, Naples, Italy

Correspondence: Nicola Coppola
Department of Mental Health and Public Medicine, Infectious Diseases Unit, University of Campania Luigi Vanvitelli, Via: L. Armanni 5, Naples 80131, Italy
Tel +39 0815666719
Fax +39 0815666013
Email nicola.coppola@unicampania.it

Abstract: The outbreak of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and the related disease (COVID-19) has spread rapidly to pandemic proportions, increasing the demands on healthcare systems for the containment and management of COVID-19. One of the critical issues to be addressed is the improvement in laboratory diagnosis and screening of large portions of the population to stop the virus spreading. Currently, the laboratory diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2 infection and the related disease is based on the research of viral RNA with rt-PCR methods in upper and lower respiratory airways. Serological tests to detect SARS-CoV-2 antibodies could help physicians and healthcare workers to support COVID-19 diagnosis and follow-up and perform population screening. Our review, using MEDLINE and EMBASE, summarizes the current knowledge of direct and serological tests performed to research RNA, antigens, or antibodies for SARS-CoV-2, evaluating the advantages and drawbacks for specific tests.

Keywords: COVID-19, SARS-CoV-2, laboratory diagnosis, serological test, PCR

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