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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 17  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 139-143

Laboratory diagnosis of COVID-19 infection

Department of Microbiology, Apollo Hospitals, jubilee Hills, Hyderabad, Telangana, India

Correspondence Address:
M S Ratnamani
Apollo Hospitals, Jubilee Hills, Hyderabad, Telangana
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/am.am_105_20

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Rapid diagnostic tests are required for the early diagnosis of COVID-19 infection. Rapid antigen detection tests are card-based, and the reports are available within 30 min. Sample type is nasopharyngeal swab. Rapid antigen tests help in triaging the patients, early identification, isolation, and contact tracing. Antigen test has high specificity and moderate sensitivity. Symptomatic patients and those with high pretest probability, but are antigen test negative, need to go for real-time polymerase chain reaction testing. Rapid antigen tests aid in the early decision-making and reduce the burden on molecular diagnostics. Serological tests for COVID-19 involve the detection of antibodies in blood. Immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibodies to SARS CoV-2 indicates past infection or past exposure. It should not be used for the diagnostic purpose. IgG, IgM, and total antibodies detection is available on different platforms. IgG antibody testing is useful for seroprevalence, plasma donation, and as epidemiological tool. ICMR has given advisory and algorithm for both antigen and antibody testing.

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