Molecular Diagnosis of Coronavirus Disease 2019

Crit Care Explor. 2020 Sep 17;2(9):e0184. doi: 10.1097/CCE.0000000000000184. eCollection 2020 Sep.


Objectives: To review molecular diagnostics for coronavirus disease 2019. The world is in the midst of a coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic. Containing the spread of the severe acute respiratory distress coronavirus is critical. Instrumental to the future success is the ability to reliably and reproducibly detect this inciting pathogen to inform public health containment policies and treatment decisions.

Data sources: Molecular diagnostics focusing on molecular detection methodologies for detection of the virus and the presence of the disease.

Study selection: Narrative review.

Data extraction: Literature, PubMed, Scopus, and official government documents.

Data synthesis: Diagnosing severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus is done through real-time reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction tests, cell culture, and serology. For patients, diagnostics are an integral part of a full medical history, physical examinations, blood tests, and diagnostic imaging.

Conclusions: Here, we review current approaches to the molecular diagnosis of coronavirus disease 2019.

Keywords: coronavirus disease 2019; coronavirus disease 2019 serologic tests; nucleic acid amplification tests; real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction diagnostic primer panel; severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2.

Publication types

  • Review