Laboratory diagnosis of emerging human coronavirus infections

14 Apr, 2020

Michael J. Loeffelholza and Yi-Wei Tangb published in Emerging Microbes & Infections a state of the art of the current laboratory methods available for testing coronaviruses. For the study, the authors focused on the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak going on in Wuhan. 

Viral pneumonias typically do not result in the production of purulent sputum. Thus, a nasopharyngeal swab is usually the collection method used to obtain a specimen for testing. Nasopharyngeal specimens may miss some infections; a deeper specimen may need to be obtained by bronchoscopy. Alternatively, repeated testing can be used because over time, the likelihood of the SARS-CoV-2 being present in the nasopharynx increases. Several integrated, random-access, point-of-care molecular devices are currently under development for fast and accurate diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2 infections. These assays are simple, fast and safe and can be used in the local hospitals and clinics bearing the burden of identifying and treating patients.

Below, you can see a comparative table of laboratory techniques for the detection of coronaviruses. It is extracted from the article. 

Table 2. Laboratory techniques for detection of coronaviruses.