JMA Journal
Online ISSN : 2433-3298
Print ISSN : 2433-328X
Review Article: COVID-19
Microbiological Testing for Coronavirus Disease 2019
Kei YamamotoNorio Ohmagari
ジャーナル オープンアクセス

2021 年 4 巻 2 号 p. 67-75


Microbiological diagnosis of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is mainly performed through nucleic acid amplification test (NAAT) and antigen test. Although NAAT is the standard diagnostic test, its use is limited by insufficient laboratory resources and long turnaround time. Point-of-care NAAT tests have been introduced to address these shortcomings, but their varied sensitivity and resource constraints remain a concern. Antigen tests require fewer resources but have low sensitivity. Nevertheless, low-sensitivity tests may be useful depending on the situation. In contrast, in some clinical phases of COVID-19, high-sensitivity tests may provide false-negative results. Therefore, the right testing strategy is needed for an accurate diagnosis. In this review, the characteristics and clinical applications of microbiological tests available in Japan (NAAT, antigen test, and antibody test) are discussed. The clinical diagnosis of COVID-19 is slightly complicated, and cases in which the infection spreads from asymptomatic infected individuals are many; hence, laboratory diagnosis is essential to prevent further transmission.

© 2021 Japan Medical Association

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