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APR 02, 2020 8:30 AM PDT

Laboratory Diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2 Infections: Current Status

C.E. Credits: P.A.C.E. CE Florida CE
Speaker
  • China Chief Medical Officer of Cepheid at the Danaher Diagnostic Platform in Shanghai
    Biography
      Dr. Yi-Wei Tang is currently the China Chief Medical Officer of Cepheid at the Danaher Diagnostic Platform in Shanghai. He obtained his medical training from Fudan University Shanghai School of Medicine and Ph.D. in microbiology and immunology from Vanderbilt University. He was a Lecturer and Clinical Fellow at the Mayo Clinic, a Professor at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Chief of the Clinical Microbiology Service at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and a Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at the Weill Medical College of Cornell University in New York City, USA. He has been engaged in developing and evaluating new and advanced microbiological diagnostic testing procedures. Dr. Tang ranks among the top of the scientific field in clinical and molecular microbiology, as evidenced by his election as an Editor for the Journal of Clinical Microbiology, an Associate Editor for the Journal of Molecular Diagnostics, an Associate Editor for the Emerging Microbes and Infection, and a Fellow of the American Academy for Microbiology and of the Infectious Disease Society of America. Dr. Tang has been recognized for his extraordinary expertise in the molecular microbiology diagnosis and monitoring with over 200 peer-reviewed articles and over 100 book chapters in this field during the past 20 years.

    Abstract

    The ongoing unprecedented outbreak of pneumonia caused by a novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) in Wuhan, China has highlighted the necessity for readily available, accurate and rapid diagnostic testing methods. The laboratory diagnostic methods for human coronavirus infections have evolved substantially, with the development of novel assays as well as the availability of updated tests for emerging ones. Newer laboratory methods are rapid, highly sensitive and specific, and are gradually replacing the conventional gold standards. This presentation reviews the current laboratory methods available for testing coronaviruses by focusing on the SARS-CoV-2 outbreak going on in Wuhan. Viral pneumonias typically do not result in the production of purulent sputum. Thus, a nasopharyngeal swab is usually the collection method used to obtain a specimen for testing. Nasopharyngeal specimens may miss early infection; a deeper specimen may need to be obtained by bronchoscopy. While real-time PCR run on separately extracted nucleic acids has been urgently used with uncertain accuracy, serology may facilitate etiology diagnosis and ultimately play a major role in determining the epidemiology of this outbreak. Alternatively, repeated testing can be used because over time, the likelihood of the SARS-CoV-2 being present in the nasal-pharynx increases. Several integrated, random-access, point-of-care molecular devices are developing for rapid and accurate diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2 infections. These assays are simple, rapid and safe and can be used in the local hospitals and clinics bearing the burden of identifying and treating patients.


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