The University of Louisville Journal of Respiratory Infections


The author(s) received no specific funding for this work


Background: Current testing of symptomatic patients for SARS-CoV-2 involves the use of nucleic acid amplification tests, also known as genetic, RNA, or polymerase chain reaction (PCR), to detect viral RNA. The initial use of point of care (POC) antibody tests, also known as serological tests, in the management of SARS-CoV-2 infection was limited. In this review, we determine the significance of POC antibody serological tests and explore their possible role in the diagnosis and management of patients infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

Methods: A literature search was conducted in Google Scholar, PubMed, and Embase, supplemented by searching the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) websites. We identified seven articles published in the last six months pertaining to our search. The sensitivity and specificity statistics of IgG/IgM antibody tests obtained from these studies were compared and used to determine the clinical importance of rapid diagnostic antibody tests for SARS-CoV-2.

Results: Through the literature review, it was found that POC diagnostic antibody tests can be used as an adjuvant with nucleic acid amplification tests in determining both active and post-exposure antibodies. These rapid antibody IgG/IgM tests had high sensitivity—the ability of a test to correctly identify those with the disease—and high specificity, the ability of a test to correctly identify those without the disease.

Conclusion: Emerging studies indicate the importance of POC antibody serological testing as a diagnostic tool in the current SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. Considering the limitations of the molecular methods of testing, POC antibody tests can help reduce dependency on molecular assays when used in conjunction with them.



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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.



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