COVID-19 new diagnostics development: novel detection methods for SARS-CoV-2 infection and considerations for their translation to routine use

Jim F Huggett, Jacob Moran-Gilad, J Eugene Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations

Abstract

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: COVID-19 has put the in-vitro-diagnostic community under an unprecedented spotlight, with a global requirement for accurate SARS-CoV-2 tests. This review will outline technological responses to this need and the analytical considerations required for their translation to routine use.

RECENT FINDINGS: SARS-CoV-2 diagnostic solutions directly detect the virus or measure host-derived surrogate markers of infection. With pressure upon supply chains for the 'traditional' molecular approaches, a wide variety of analytical tools spanning the molecular, serology, imaging and chemistry space are being developed, including high throughput solutions and simplified near-patient formats.

SUMMARY: The unique genetic nature of SARS-CoV-2 means high analytical specificity is achievable by most diagnostic formats. However, clinical sensitivity assessment is complicated by wide discrepancies in analytical range and challenges associated with standardising these differences. When coupled with the acute nature of SARS-CoV-2 infection, reported precise metrics of test performance must be questioned. The response to SARS-CoV-2 has delivered considerable diagnostic innovation, but for a technology to be maximised, it must be demonstrably reproducible and fit for purpose. If novel diagnostic solutions for SARS-CoV-2 are to succeed, equally innovative mechanisms are needed to ensure widespread clinical and surveillance application, enabling agreed standards and metrics to ensure comparability.

Original languageEnglish GB
Pages (from-to)155-162
Number of pages8
JournalCurrent Opinion in Pulmonary Medicine
Volume27
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2021

Keywords

  • COVID-19/diagnosis
  • COVID-19 Testing/methods
  • Humans
  • Inventions
  • SARS-CoV-2/genetics
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Translational Medical Research

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine

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