The significance of advanced COVID-19 diagnostic testing in pandemic control measures

Int J Biol Sci. 2022 Jul 11;18(12):4610-4617. doi: 10.7150/ijbs.72837. eCollection 2022.


During the 2 years since the start of the novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, the scientific world made an enormous effort to fight against this disease caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), which has high transmissibility. Advancements in vaccine and treatment strategies have reduced both the hospitalization and mortality rates. However, the virus has shown its ability to evolve and evade from our COVID-19 combating armamentaria by the most common evolution mechanism-mutation. Diagnostic testing has been the first line of defense following the identification of the causative agent. Ever since, the scientific community has developed nuclei acid-based, antigen-based, and antibody-based diagnostic tests, and these testing methodologies are still playing a central role in slowing down viral transmission. These testing methods have different sensitivity and specificity and could be optimally used in areas facing different challenges owing to different level and conditions of COVID-19 outbreak. In this review, we discuss these testing methodologies as well as the considerations on how to apply these diagnostic tests optimally in the community to cope with the ever-changing pandemic conditions.

Keywords: Diagnostic testing; Pandemic conditions; SARS-CoV-2; Viral Variants.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • COVID-19 Testing
  • COVID-19* / diagnosis
  • COVID-19* / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Pandemics* / prevention & control
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Sensitivity and Specificity