Review Article

Laboratory diagnosis of COVID-19: current status and challenges


The magnitude and pace of global affliction caused by Coronavirus Disease-19 (COVID-19) is unprecedented in the recent past. From starting in a busy seafood market in the Chinese city of Wuhan, the virus has spread across the globe in less than a year, infecting over 76 million people and causing death of close to 1.7 million individuals worldwide. As no specific antiviral treatment is currently available, the major strategy in containing the pandemic is focused on early diagnosis and prompt isolation of the infected individuals. Several diagnostic modalities have emerged within a relatively short period, which can be broadly classified into molecular and immunological assays. While the former category is centered around real-time PCR, which is currently considered the gold standard of diagnosis, the latter aims to detect viral antigens or antibodies specific to the viral antigens and is yet to be recommended as a stand-alone diagnostic tool. This review aims to provide an update on the different diagnostic modalities that are currently being used in diagnostic laboratories across the world as well as the upcoming methods and challenges associated with each of them. In a rapidly evolving diagnostic landscape with several testing platforms going through various phases of development and/or regulatory clearance, it is prudent that the clinical community familiarizes itself with the nuances of different testing modalities currently being employed for this condition.

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IssueVol 13 No 1 (2021) QRcode
SectionReview Article(s)
COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; Coronavirus; Diagnosis; COVID-19 nucleic acid testing; Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay

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Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.
How to Cite
Mathew B, Vyas A, Khare P, Gupta S, Nema R, Nema S, Gupta S, Chaurasiya S, Biswas D, Singh A. Laboratory diagnosis of COVID-19: current status and challenges. Iran J Microbiol. 2021;13(1):1-7.