To test, perchance to diagnose: Practical strategies for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 testing

Romney M. Humphries, Marwan M. Azar, Angela M. Caliendo, Andrew Chou, Robert C. Colgrove, Valeria Fabre, Christine C. Ginocchio, Kimberly E. Hanson, Mary K. Hayden, Dylan R. Pillai, Nira R. Pollock, Francesca M. Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Testing for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in symptomatic and asymptomatic patients is an important component of the multifaceted approach of managing the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic. Determining how to best define testing strategies for different populations and incorporating these into broader infection prevention programs can be complex. Many circumstances are not addressed by federal, local, or professional guidelines. This commentary describes various scenarios in which testing of symptomatic or asymptomatic individuals for SARS-CoV-2 virus (antigen or ribonucleic acid) can be of potential benefit. Consideration to pretest probability, risks of testing (impact of false-positive or false-negative results), testing strategy, as well as action based on test results are explored. Testing, regardless of setting, must be incorporated into overarching infection control plans, which include use of personal protective equipment (eg, masks), physically distancing, and isolation when exposure is suspected.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberofab095
JournalOpen Forum Infectious Diseases
Volume8
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2021

Keywords

  • SARS-CoV-2
  • molecular diagnostics
  • testing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Clinical Neurology

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