We summarized the various serological and molecular examination modalities for COVID-19. RT-PCR instrument selection is important. Closed system has the advantage of automatic RNA extraction, thereby reducing the risk of contamination and false negatives results, but the cost is high. In contrast, open system has lower cost, but the RNA extraction must be performed manually. Thus, it requires additional facilities and expert laboratory staff. In addition, it has a higher false negative rate and the risk of contamination towards laboratory staff. Among several number of gene targets, it is recommended to use specific gene targets according to WHO and CDC. Although the current gold standard diagnosis of COVID-19 is the RNA examination using RT-PCR, but the availability of this instrument is not evenly distributed. Therefore, alternative examination is needed. Serology is a quick and easy examination, thus it can be used for screening and helping diagnose COVID-19. However, several aspects are needed. The detected target is antigen or antibody. The detected antigen is a specific protein from the virus, but the antigen is only detected when the virus is actively replicating and more effective at acute phase. Antibodies are more effective because they can last for a long time. Total antibodies have the highest sensitivity and can increase the sensitivity of RNA tests when combined. The time of collection and specimen type used are also important because some specimens have low sensitivity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1458-1467
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Pharmaceutical Research
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2020


  • COVID-19
  • Diagnostic test
  • RT-PCR
  • Serology


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