Int J Infect Dis. 2020 Aug 20:S1201-9712(20)30671-8. doi: 10.1016/j.ijid.2020.08.041. Online ahead of print.
An outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) that began in Wuhan, Hubei Province of China, has rapidly spread to produce a global pandemic. It is now clear that person-to-person transmission of SARS-CoV-2 has been occurring and that the epidemic has been dramatically growing in recent months. Early, rapid and accurate diagnosis is of great significance for curtailing the spread of SARS-CoV-2. At present, several diagnostic techniques, e.g., viral culture, nucleic acid amplification test, have been used to detect the virus. However, the sensitivity and specificity of these methods are quite different, with the sample source and detection limit varying greatly. Here, we review all the types and characteristics of the current laboratory diagnostic assays available for detecting SARS-CoV-2 infection and summarize the selection strategies of testing and sampling sites at different disease stages to improve the diagnostic accuracy of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).