Novel Coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) is a new strain that has been previously identified in humans and causes the pulmonary disease COVID-19.

This viral strain is known to cause fatalities and spreads through human to human transmission causing a wide spread impact. It has recently spread globally from China.

Standard recommendations to prevent infection spread include regular hand washing, covering of the mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing, thoroughly cooking of animal products and avoiding close contact with anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness such as coughing and sneezing.

Testing for the presence of coronavirus is an essential diagnostic tool for monitoring and managing the current COVID-19 pandemic. The only reliable test method targets the genome of SARS-CoV-2, and the most widely used method is Reverse Transcriptase Real Time PCR (RT-qPCR).

The diagnostic sensitivity of RT-qPCR assays is mainly dependent on;

  • The sample collection method
  • DNA/RNA extraction protocol used to isolate DNA and RNA from biological specimens
  • The sensitivity of RT-qPCR kits.