Expert Rev Mol Diagn. 2020 Aug 26. doi: 10.1080/14737159.2020.1816171. Online ahead of print.
INTRODUCTION: The emergence of a novel coronavirus identified in patients with unknown cause of acute respiratory disease in Wuhan, China at the end of 2019 has caused a global outbreak. The causative coronavirus was later named as severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and the disease caused by SARS-CoV-2 was named as Coronavirus Disease-2019 (COVID-19). As of 10 August, 2020, more than 19,718,030 confirmed cases and 728,013 deaths have been reported. COVID-19 is spread via respiratory droplets which are inhaled into the lungs.
AREAS COVERED: In this article, we summarized the knowledge about the causative pathogen of COVID-19 and various diagnostic methods in this pandemic for better understanding of the limitations and the nuances of virus testing for COVID-19.
EXPERT OPINION: In this pandemic, a rapid and an accurate identification of COVID-19 patients are critical to break the chain of infection in the community. RT-PCR provides a rapid and reliable identification of SARS-CoV-2 infection. In the future, molecular diagnostics will still be the gold standard and next-generation sequencing can help us to understand more on the pathogenesis and detect novel mutations. It is believed that more sophisticated detection methods will be introduced to detect SARS-CoV-2 as earliest as possible.