The urgency and complexity of the current COVID-19 situation continues to grow, and laboratorians play an essential role. Testing for SARS-CoV-2 is not the only need in managing COVID-19 patients. Fast, accurate screening and monitoring for the variety of health issues that may arise as part of COVID-19 disease management are also needed.
The essential role of laboratory diagnostics in SARS-CoV-2 infection
We are committed to helping laboratorians navigate this new world, in order to help you provide the best care to patients in this challenging time. A new COVID-19 Laboratory Testing Guide provides timely, relevant content to support the extended role of laboratory diagnostics in managing COVID-19 patients:
- Transmission and clinical classification
- Course of patients at risk
- Current recommendations for laboratory testing
- Frequent laboratory abnormalities
- Impact of patients with co-morbidities
At Siemens Healthineers, we are fully committed to supporting our partners throughout the healthcare system by helping them deliver high-value care to patients.
Diagnostic testing for COVID-19
As a truly emergent human pathogen, a specific test for presence of the virus did not exist with the onset of cases, necessitating rapid development. Most current testing for infection relies on detection of the viral RNA using a reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction (rtPCR). In addition, serology testing from a blood sample can identify antibody to the virus.1,2 These tests will likely prove extremely valuable for surveillance and could potentially provide assessment for immunity, as well as aiding identification of acute infection.
As availability and supplies for molecular testing for COVID-19 increase, testing turn-around times should improve, but remain contingent on sample collection, proper preanalytical handling (RNA is highly degradable), time to test result, and access to testing (point-of-care vs. lab-based).
Sponsored AACC Webinar
The Role of Laboratory Diagnostics in SARS-CoV-2 Infection and Related Comorbidities: Experiences and Population Management Strategies from Highly Affected Regions of China and Italy
Laboratory tests are vital throughout many clinical pathways, and this webinar describes how laboratory medicine can efficiently help combat the COVID-19 outbreak. In vitro diagnostics can provide essential contributions to diagnose and manage care of patients with suspected or confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection, including etiological diagnosis, patient monitoring, and epidemiologic surveillance. In addition, lab results are important in identifying dangerous comorbidities that could have a negative impact on the prognosis of affected patients.
Prof. Mario Plebani
Professor of Clinical Biochemistry and Clinical Molecular Biology, University of Padova School of Medicine
Chief, Department of Laboratory Medicine, University Hospital, Padova, Italy
Prof. Shu Kui Wang
Director of Central Laboratory
Nanjing First Hospital, Nanjing Medical University, Nanjing, China
The products/features (mentioned herein) are not commercially available in all countries. Due to regulatory reasons their future availability cannot be guaranteed. Please contact your local Siemens Healthineers organization for further details.
1. Ehterinton, D. https://techcrunch.com/2020/03/27/the-fda-just-okayed-multiple-15-minute-blood-tests-to-screen-for-coronavirus-but-there-are-caveats/ (Accessed March 28, 2020)
2. Morris, A. https://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/arizona-health/2020/03/28/university-arizona-working-tests-detect-covid-19-antibodies/5083093002/ (Accessed March 28, 2020)
*Under development. Not available for sale. Future availability cannot be guaranteed.
**CE-IVD labelled for diagnostic use in the EU. For research use only (RUO) in the U.S. Pursuing FDA emergency use authorization (EUA) and WHO emergency use listing (EUL).