In clinical, research, and public health laboratories, many diagnostic methods are used to detect the coronavirus. Some tests directly detect infection by detecting viral RNA, while others detect the disease indirectly by detecting host antibodies. Several studies on SARS-CoV-2 diagnostic methods have found varying throughput, batching capacity, infrastructure requirements, analytical efficiency, and turnaround times ranging from minutes to hours. Serosurvey studies have been conducted for antibodies to understand, model, and forecast the prevalence of the disease in an area. While on the research and predictive modeling side, sampling and analysis of sewage have been conducted to determine the number of RNA copies and hence the prevalence. Certain studies indicate usefulness of GIS (Geographic Information System) for understanding the pervasiveness of COVID-19 in an area as well. The current chapter deals with the evolution of diagnostic techniques for COVID-19 and discusses use of specific techniques and appropriateness in certain specified conditions. It also focuses on understanding the methods used for assessing the prevalence of COVID-19 in a particular region to extract mitigative strategies from it, either by prediction or management of the affected area.
Part of the book: Fighting the COVID-19 Pandemic