COVID-19 other diagnostic studies

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]; Associate Editor(s)-in-Chief: Syed Hassan A. Kazmi BSc, MD [2] Mandana Safakhah, MD[3]


Research laboratories have used isolation methods, electron microscopy, serology and PCR-based assays to diagnose coronavirus infections for surveillance studies.

Other Diagnostic Studies

Specific laboratory tests may include:

  • Virus isolation in cell culture.
  • Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assays that are more practical and available commercially .However, false negative cases have been reported by several studies. hence it is suggested to obtain three negative consecutive r-RT-PCR tests before discharging patients with covid-19 .[1]
time distribution of false and true negative of covid-19 pcr results[1]
  • Serological testing for antibodies to human coronaviruses. Serological assays play an essential role in contact tracing among populations and confirming covid-19 cases when RNA negative patients presents late in the illness.[2] [3]

Nose and throat swabs are the best specimens for detecting common human coronaviruses. Serological testing requires the collection of blood specimens.



  1. 1.0 1.1 Wang, Guan; Yu, Na; Xiao, Weimin; Zhao, Chen; Wang, Zhenning (2020). "Consecutive false‐negative rRT‐PCR test results for SARS‐CoV‐2 in patients after clinical recovery from COVID‐19". Journal of Medical Virology. doi:10.1002/jmv.26192. ISSN 0146-6615.
  2. Udugama B, Kadhiresan P, Kozlowski HN, Malekjahani A, Osborne M, Li VYC; et al. (2020). "Diagnosing COVID-19: The Disease and Tools for Detection". ACS Nano. 14 (4): 3822–3835. doi:10.1021/acsnano.0c02624. PMC 7144809 Check |pmc= value (help). PMID 32223179 Check |pmid= value (help).
  3. Tang YW, Schmitz JE, Persing DH, Stratton CW (2020). "Laboratory Diagnosis of COVID-19: Current Issues and Challenges". J Clin Microbiol. 58 (6). doi:10.1128/JCM.00512-20. PMC 7269383 Check |pmc= value (help). PMID 32245835 Check |pmid= value (help).
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 "Public Health Image Library (PHIL)".