The University of Louisville Journal of Respiratory Infections


Background: Current testing of symptomatic patients for SARS-CoV-2 involves the use of nucleic acid amplification tests, also known as genetic, RNA or 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 SARS-CoV-2 virus.

Methods: A literature search was conducted in Google Scholar, PubMed, and Embase, and supplemented by searching the Center for Disease Control (CDC), and the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) websites. We identified 7 articles published in the last 6 months pertaining to the keywords. The sensitivity and specificity of the IgG/IgM antibody tests obtained from these studies were compared and used to determine the clinical importance of the rapid diagnostic antibody test in SARS-CoV-2 infection.

Results: Through the literature review, it was found that POC diagnostic antibody tests can be used as an adjuvant with the 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 the test to correctly identify those without the disease.

Conclusion: Emerging studies indicate the importance of POC antibody serological testing as an important 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 the molecular assays of testing when used in conjunction with them.


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



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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
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