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Nucleic Acid and Immunological Diagnostics for SARS-CoV-2: Processes, Platforms and Pitfalls

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Diagnostics 2020, 10(11), 866; https://doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics10110866
Received: 22 September 2020 / Revised: 12 October 2020 / Accepted: 20 October 2020 / Published: 23 October 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Pathology and Molecular Diagnostics)
Accurate diagnosis at an early stage of infection is essential for the successful management of any contagious disease. The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), caused by the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) virus is a pandemic that has affected 214 countries affecting more than 37.4 million people causing 1.07 million deaths as of the second week of October 2020. The primary diagnosis of the infection is done either by the molecular technique of RT-qPCR by detecting portions of the RNA of the viral genome or through immunodiagnostic tests by detecting the viral proteins or the antibodies produced by the host. As the demand for the test increased rapidly many naive manufacturers entered the market with novel kits and more and more laboratories also entered the diagnostic arena making the test result more error-prone. There are serious debates globally and regionally on the sensitivity and specificity of these tests and about the overall accuracy and reliability of the tests for decision making on control strategies. The significance of the test is also complexed by the presence of asymptomatic carriers, re-occurrence of infection in cured patients as well as by the varied incubation periods of the infection and shifting of the viral location in the host tissues. In this paper, we review the techniques available for SARS-CoV-2 diagnosis and probable factors that can reduce the sensitivity and specificity of the different test methods currently in vogue. We also provide a checklist of factors to be considered to avoid fallacious practices to reduce false positive and false negative results by the clinical laboratories. View Full-Text
Keywords: COVID-19 testing; molecular diagnostics; immunological testing; RT-qPCR; ELISA; pool PCR; lateral flow assay; rapid assay COVID-19 testing; molecular diagnostics; immunological testing; RT-qPCR; ELISA; pool PCR; lateral flow assay; rapid assay
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MDPI and ACS Style

Premraj, A.; Aleyas, A.G.; Nautiyal, B.; Rasool, T.J. Nucleic Acid and Immunological Diagnostics for SARS-CoV-2: Processes, Platforms and Pitfalls. Diagnostics 2020, 10, 866. https://doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics10110866

AMA Style

Premraj A, Aleyas AG, Nautiyal B, Rasool TJ. Nucleic Acid and Immunological Diagnostics for SARS-CoV-2: Processes, Platforms and Pitfalls. Diagnostics. 2020; 10(11):866. https://doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics10110866

Chicago/Turabian Style

Premraj, Avinash, Abi George Aleyas, Binita Nautiyal, and Thaha J Rasool. 2020. "Nucleic Acid and Immunological Diagnostics for SARS-CoV-2: Processes, Platforms and Pitfalls" Diagnostics 10, no. 11: 866. https://doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics10110866

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