COVID 19 Testing:
Significance of the Test:
Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2, previously called 2019-nCoV) belongs to the family of coronaviruses and, like SARS-CoV, is classified in the genus Betacoronavirus . The new coronavirus originated in China in the city of Wuhan, Hubei province. It caused an infection wave, which has spread rapidly within the country and worldwide [2, 3]. Just a few days after the first report about patients with pneumonia of unclear origin, the causative pathogen was identified as SARS-CoV-2 [2-4].
SARS-CoV-2 is predominantly transmitted by droplet infection via coughing or sneezing and through close contact with infected patients [2, 3, 5].
The incubation time of SARS-CoV is three to seven, maximally 14 days . The symptoms of SARS-CoV-2 infection are fever, coughing, breathing difficulties and fatigue [2, 3, 5]. In most patients the infection manifests with symptoms of a mild febrile illness with irregular lung infiltrates. Some patients, especially elderly or chronically ill patients, develop severe acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). The disease is fatal in around 3% of cases [2, 3, 5]. In February 2020, the disease caused by SARS-CoV-2 was named COVID-19 by the WHO. The sensitivity and specificity of the assay is close to 100%, after post infection of 14 days .
Gorbalenya AE, Baker SC, Baric RS, de Groot RJ, Drosten C, Gulyaeva AA, et al. Severe acute respiratory syndrome-related coronavirus: The species and its viruses – a statement of the Coronavirus Study Group. bioRxiv preprint. doi: 10.1101/2020.02.07.937862
Wang G, Jin X. The progress of 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) event in China. J MedVirol. doi: 10.1002/jmv.25705
Gralinski LE, Menachery VD. Return of the Coronavirus: 2019-nCoV. Viruses 2020, 12(2), 135
Corman VM, Landt O, Kaiser M, Molenkamp R, Meijer A, Chu DKW, et al. Detection of 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) by real-time RT-PCR. Euro Surveill. 2020; 25(3): pii=2000045
Xiao SY, Wu Y, Liu H. Evolving status of the 2019 novel coronavirus Infection: proposal of conventional serologic assays for disease diagnosis and infection monitoring. J Med Virol.2020; 1-4.
Abbott Architect SARS-CoV-2 IgG [package insert]. Abbot; April 2020.