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Review Article

Korean J healthc assoc Infect Control Prev 2021; 26(2): 47-56

Published online December 31, 2021 https://doi.org/10.14192/kjicp.2021.26.2.47

Copyright © Korean Society for Healthcare-associated infection Control and Prevention

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Laboratory Diagnosis and Utilization for COVID-19

Mi-Na Kim1 , Hyun Soo Kim2, Hye Gyung Bae3, Hee Jae Huh4, Heungsup Sung1

Department of Laboratory Medicine, Asan Medical Center, University of Ulsan College of Medicine1, Seoul, Department of Laboratory Medicine, Hallym University Dongtan Sacred Heart Hospital2, Hwaseong, Seoul Clinical Laboratories3, Yongin, Department of Laboratory Medicine and Genetics, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Samsung Medical Center4, Seoul, Korea

Correspondence to: Mi-Na Kim
E-mail: mnkim@amc.seoul.kr
ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-4624-6925

Received: June 7, 2021; Revised: November 12, 2021; Accepted: November 15, 2021

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0).

Abstract

Since the outbreak of COVID-19 in March 2020, the COVID-19 diagnostic test has become a critical means of national response. Laboratory diagnosis of patients with COVID-19 is essential for not only patient management but also understanding the epidemiology and preventing the spread of infection, such as contact tracing. Real-time reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), which amplifies and detects viral nucleic acids, is the gold standard for laboratory diagnosis of COVID-19. Currently, various real-time RT-PCR diagnostic kits are commercially available worldwide. Therefore, verifying the sensitivity and specificity of these kits plays an important role in determining their diagnostic value. However, in addition to RTPCR, the point-of-care test that is rapid and affordable by untrained individuals, antibody tests to monitor the immunological course of infected or vaccinated individuals, and large-scale sequencing of SARS-CoV-2 genome are technologies that are also needed in the long-term COVID-19 pandemic. As the COVID-19 pandemic situation intensifies, the need for various diagnostic tests has also increases, and there has been a quantum leap in quality and quantity. This review intends to present a comprehensive perspective on various diagnostic methods and appropriate use of tests approved by the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety in Korea and used for COVID-19 laboratory diagnosis.

Keywords: COVID-19, Diagnostic test, Polymerase chain reaction, SARS-CoV-2

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