Three types of tests are available to determine active or recent COVID-19 infection.
- Molecular tests are RT-PCR based and considered gold standard for testing active infections.
- Antigen tests are faster but less sensitive and detect the virus surface proteins.
- Antibody/serological tests detect antibodies, in a blood sample, in response to a recent infection.
Virus can be detected in throat swabs, posterior oropharyngeal saliva, nasopharyngeal swabs, sputum and bronchial fluid but has also been detected in intestinal tract and blood samples. Multiple detection methods are suggested to confirm diagnosis to avoid false negatives for individuals with high clinical suspicion such as chest CT scan combined with repeated swab tests (Hu et al., 2020).