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Interpreting Diagnostic Tests for SARS-CoV-2

Educational Objective
How understand how to interpret diagnostic tests for COVID-19
1 Credit CME

The pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) continues to affect much of the world. Knowledge of diagnostic tests for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is still evolving, and a clear understanding of the nature of the tests and interpretation of their findings is important. This Viewpoint describes how to interpret 2 types of diagnostic tests commonly in use for SARS-CoV-2 infections—reverse transcriptase–polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and IgM and IgG enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA)—and how the results may vary over time (Figure).

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Article Information

Corresponding Author: Sundararaj Stanleyraj Jeremiah, MD, Department of Microbiology and Molecular Biodefense Research, Yokohama City University School of Medicine, 3-9 Fukuura, Kanazawa-ku, Yokohama 236-0004, Japan (rediffjerry@gmail.com).

Published Online: May 6, 2020. doi:10.1001/jama.2020.8259

Conflict of Interest Disclosures: None reported.

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