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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 11  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 117-123

COVID diagnostics: Do we have sufficient armamentarium for the present and the unforeseen?

1 Department of Microbiology, University College of Medical Sciences and Guru Teg Bahadur Hospital, New Delhi, India
2 Department of Microbiology, G B Pant Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research, New Delhi, India
3 Department of Medicine, Lady Hardinge Medical College and SSK Hospital, New Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Bineeta Kashyap
Flat No. C-402, Vimal CGHS LTD., Plot-3, Sector-12, Dwarka, New Delhi - 110 078
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/INJMS.INJMS_92_20

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The COVID-19 pandemic has taken the world by storm, and nations world over are battling this unprecedented health crisis. Diagnostics play the most important part in the “test, track, and treat” strategy being used in most of the nations to combat COVID-19. Although viral culture is the gold standard, it is not pursued because of the associated biohazard risks. Short of that, nucleic acid amplification tests (NAATs) are the present gold standard and are being used in several ways. Real-time reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction is being widely used, although cartridge-based NAAT and TrueNat™ testing are also in vogue. Serological testing is also being used as an adjunct specially for screening (rapid antigen testing kits), while antibody (specially IgG) testing is being used as a serosurveillance strategy. Radiological investigations, especially computed tomography scan of the thorax, give peculiar peripheral ground-glass opacities which are quite characteristic in the present COVID pandemic and need to be ascertained together with other clinical features and diagnostic tools. Although the present tools have been able to support the diagnosis of COVID to quite an extent, there are limitations, and as the whole spectrum of COVID disease unfolds, the diagnostic armamentarium will also continue to expand, and we will need to use the diagnostic strategies further to be able to contain this pandemic at the earliest.

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