COVID-19 Specific Testing

COVID-19 Specific Testing

Author: Vera KoesterORCID iD

The picture describes how coronavirus testing work



Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) Test

Currently, PCR tests for SARS-CoV-2 are used. These tests detect the RNA of the coronavirus and, by this, active infections. The test is only reliable in the first week of the disease. The virus then migrates further into the lungs. It then becomes difficult to detect using nasal or throat swabs.

COVID-19 Test PCR test



Antibody Test or Serological Tests

About 80 % of COVID-19 infections are mild. What if I’ve already had the virus and I didn’t notice? Can the virus be detected retrospectively? You can do that with antibody tests. The antibody test only takes effect after a few days if antibodies have formed in the blood. It is not suitable for detecting active infections in the early phase of the disease.

Point-of-care, handheld antibody tests are currently being developed. They will be rolled out quickly once they are sensitive and specific enough.

COVID-19 Antibody test



Beyond conventional antibody and antigen tests, researchers are developing other diagnostic technologies. The gene editing technique Crispr can, for example, be adapted to recognize and cut specific genetic sequences in SARS-CoV-2. This can then be identified via color changes.




Also of Interest

  • Collection: SARS-CoV-2 Virus
    What we know about the new coronavirus and COVID-19 – articles published in ChemistryViews related to SARS-CoV-2






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