Laboratory testing of SARS-CoV, MERS-CoV, and SARS-CoV-2 (2019-nCoV): Current status, challenges, and countermeasures.
Rev Med Virol. 2020 05;30(3):e2106
Authors: Yan Y, Chang L, Wang L
Emerging and reemerging infectious diseases are global public concerns. With the outbreak of unknown pneumonia in Wuhan, China in December 2019, a new coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2 has been attracting tremendous attention. Rapid and accurate laboratory testing of SARS-CoV-2 is essential for early discovery, early reporting, early quarantine, early treatment, and cutting off epidemic transmission. The genome structure, transmission, and pathogenesis of SARS-CoV-2 are basically similar to SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV, the other two beta-CoVs of medical importance. During the SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV epidemics, a variety of molecular and serological diagnostic assays were established and should be referred to for SARS-CoV-2. In this review, by summarizing the articles and guidelines about specimen collection, nucleic acid tests (NAT) and serological tests for SARS-CoV, MERS-CoV, and SARS-CoV-2, several suggestions are put forward to improve the laboratory testing of SARS-CoV-2. In summary, for NAT: collecting stool and blood samples at later periods of illness to improve the positive rate if lower respiratory tract specimens are unavailable; increasing template volume to raise the sensitivity of detection; putting samples in reagents containing guanidine salt to inactivate virus as well as protect RNA; setting proper positive, negative and inhibition controls to ensure high-quality results; simultaneously amplifying human RNase P gene to avoid false-negative results. For antibody test, diverse assays targeting different antigens, and collecting paired samples are needed.
PMID: 32302058 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]