Asian Journal of Biomedical and Pharmaceutical Sciences

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Research Article - Asian Journal of Biomedical and Pharmaceutical Sciences (2021) Volume 11, Issue 83

Analysis on the sample types compatible with different types of SARSCoV-2 diagnostic test

 

Sample type is the interface that diagnostic test use to peek into disease state of the human body. Usually at the site where illness occur, different types of samples at the same site such as the respiratory system could still be obtained given improvement in technology and medical techniques. But, diagnostic test is typically antagonistic to large number of different types of samples given the higher cost and analytical complexity associated with developing a diagnostic test compatible with many types of sample. Hence, diagnostic tests such as those for COVID-19 surveillance could only work with a small number of sample type. This work conducts a meta-analysis of a subset of SARS-CoV-2 diagnostic tests approved for provisional use in Singapore, with particular focus on the types of samples compatible with each category of test. Reverse transcriptase quantitative polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR), antigen rapid test, and antibody test are profiled in this work. Results revealed that RT-qPCR test could be used with a larger variety of samples probably due to its gold standard status for detecting COVID-19. But, most RT-qPCR test could only work with nasopharyngeal, oropharyngeal and nasal swab sample. Such samples present discomfort to the individual and is a challenge to implementing an active COVID-19 surveillance programme. Similarly, antigen rapid test sample the nasopharyngeal, oropharyngeal and nasal regions of the respiratory tract, which in presenting discomfort to the individual, also cause challenge to implementing an antigen rapid test-based active COVID-19 surveillance programme. Finally, antibody-based test mainly relies on serum and plasma samples, which meant that sample processing is still a key part of the analytical workflow. However, there is an emerging trend in using whole blood for diagnostic purposes in antibody test. Overall, type of samples compatible with different categories of SARS-CoV-2 test remain limited due to cost pressure and issues with analytical complexity for tests compatible with multiple types of samples. But, more types of samples are beginning to the used for different categories of COVID-19 diagnostic test, which in reducing the discomfort of the test, also expands our capability for early detection, which is key to controlling the spread of the virus.

Author(s): Wenfa Ng

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