Premraj, A.; Aleyas, A.G.; Nautiyal, B.; Rasool, T.J. Nucleic Acid and Immunological Diagnostics for SARS-CoV-2: Processes, Platforms and Pitfalls. Diagnostics2020, 10, 866.
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.
Accurate diagnosis at an early stage of infection is essential for the successful management of any contagious disease. The COVID-19, caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus is a pandemic that has affected 214 countries affecting more than 30.8 million people causing 0.957 million deaths as of third week of September, 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 check-list of factors to be taken care to avoid fallacious practices to reduce false positive and false negative results by the clinical laboratories
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