Comparison of RT-qPCR and serological immunosaaay
|RT-qPCR test||Serological antibody test|
|Advantage||High specific||Easy to use serological sample|
Sensitivity can decrease due to specimen sampling errors or inadequate viral load (false negative).
Inactive virus and viral fragments could also test positive (false positive).
Not as accurate as RT-qPCR test, with false positive and false negative.
False positive in a low prevalence population can give an overstatement of exposure and immunity.
|Put right||Testing twice sequentially to enhance sensitivity.||Analysis validation with sufficient positive and negative sample cohorts; generally cannot be used to diagnosis test newly infected patients, but can be used as a screening test|
|Major utility||Standard of care diagnosis of newly infected and/or active COVID-19 patients.||Screening test for stratifying newly infected patients, surveillance assay for seroprevalence, immunity and vaccination efficacy.|
Abbreviation: RT-qPCR, reverse transcription quantitative polymerase chain reaction.