Dynamic change process of target genes by RT-PCR testing of SARS-Cov-2 during the course of a Coronavirus Disease 2019 patient

Clin Chim Acta. 2020 Jul;506:172-175. doi: 10.1016/j.cca.2020.03.032. Epub 2020 Mar 27.


We report the dynamic change process of target genes by RT-PCR testing of SARS-Cov-2 during the course of a COVID-19 patient: from successive negative results to successive single positive nucleocapsid gene, to two positive target genes (orf1ab and nucleocapsid) by RT-PCR testing of SARS-Cov-2, and describe the diagnosis, clinical course, and management of the case. In this case, negative results of RT-PCR testing was not excluded to diagnose a suspected COVID-19 patient, clinical signs and symptoms, other laboratory findings, and chest CT images should be taken into account for the absence of enough positive evidence. This case highlights the importance of successive sampling and testing SARS-Cov-2 by RT-PCR as well as the increased value of single positive target gene from pending to positive in two specimens to diagnose laboratory-confirmed COVID-19.

Keywords: COVID-19; Coronavirus; Nucleocapsid; RT-PCR testing; SARS-Cov-2.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Betacoronavirus / genetics*
  • COVID-19
  • China
  • Coronavirus Infections / diagnosis*
  • Coronavirus Infections / physiopathology
  • Coronavirus Infections / virology*
  • Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins
  • Disease Progression
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Viral
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nucleocapsid Proteins / genetics
  • Pandemics
  • Phosphoproteins
  • Pneumonia, Viral / diagnosis*
  • Pneumonia, Viral / physiopathology
  • Pneumonia, Viral / virology*
  • Polyproteins
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Viral Proteins / genetics


  • Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins
  • Nucleocapsid Proteins
  • ORF1ab polyprotein, SARS-CoV-2
  • Phosphoproteins
  • Polyproteins
  • Viral Proteins
  • nucleocapsid phosphoprotein, SARS-CoV-2