Roadmap to the Bioanalytical Testing of COVID-19: From Sample Collection to Disease Surveillance
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The disease caused by SARS-CoV-2, coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), has led to a global pandemic with tremendous mortality, morbidity, and economic loss. The current lack of effective vaccines and treatments places tremendous value on widespread screening, early detection, and contact tracing of COVID-19 for controlling its spread and minimizing the resultant health and societal impact. Bioanalytical diagnostic technologies have played a critical role in the mitigation of the COVID-19 pandemic and will continue to be foundational in the prevention of the subsequent waves of this pandemic along with future infectious disease outbreaks. In this Review, we aim at presenting a roadmap to the bioanalytical testing of COVID-19, with a focus on the performance metrics as well as the limitations of various techniques. The state-of-the-art technologies, mostly limited to centralized laboratories, set the clinical metrics against which the emerging technologies are measured. Technologies for point-of-care and do-it-yourself testing are rapidly emerging, which open the route for testing in the community, at home, and at points-of-entry to widely screen and monitor individuals for enabling normal life despite of an infectious disease pandemic. The combination of different classes of diagnostic technologies (centralized and point-of-care and relying on multiple biomarkers) are needed for effective diagnosis, treatment selection, prognosis, patient monitoring, and epidemiological surveillance in the event of major pandemics such as COVID-19.
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