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17 December 2020: Review Articles

Current Status of Diagnostic Testing for SARS-CoV-2 Infection and Future Developments: A Review

Jing Gao 12ABCEF , Lei Quan 1AEF*

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.928552

Med Sci Monit 2020; 26:e928552

Table 1 Characteriscs of molecular diagnostic tests for SARS-Cov-2.

Testing methodsTime to developmentTime to resultsCommercially availableAdvantagesDisadvantagesLOD* (copies/μl)
RT-PCRDays after knowledge of genome sequenceHoursYesHigh sensitivity, high specificity, reliable, ideal for high-throughput analysisRequiring sample transportation, substantial equipment, regents and trained personnel0.009–150
Isothermal PCRDays after knowledge of genome sequence15–60 minsYesHigh sensitivity, high specificity, point-of-care testing, user friendlyComplex primer design, prone to non-specific amplification and false-positive results0.13–7.0
ddPCRDays after knowledge of genome sequenceHoursYesUltra-high sensitivity, high specificity, ideal for pooling analysisMore expensive than common RT-PCR0.01–0.63
Antibody testMonths after pathogen cultured15 mins− several hoursYesConvenient and safe, high specificityModerate sensitivity, cross-reactivity, retrospective nature ()NA
Rapid antigen testSeveral months after pathogen cultured15–30 minsYesRapid, visual readoutRequiring strict design of synthetic antibody and expert knowledge on viral etiology, prone to false-negative results10 times higher than RT-PCR
CRISPRDays after knowledge of genome sequence15–60 minsNoHigh sensitivity, high specificity, reliable, visual readout, multiplexingHave not been extensively tested for SARS-Cov-26.8
Toehold switchDays after knowledge of genome sequence15–60 minsNoHigh sensitivity, high specificity, safe and inexpensive, easy to store and distribute, ideal for wearable diagnosticsHave not been tested for SARS-Cov-2NA
* Limit of detection (LOD), is defined as the amount of pathogen in a sample that would be missed at less than 5% of the time.

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Medical Science Monitor eISSN: 1643-3750
Medical Science Monitor eISSN: 1643-3750