Scientific and Published News

The emerging Coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2 – Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2) led to an outbreak of the respiratory disease "COVID-19" (coronavirus disease 19) in Wuhan, China, in December 2019. Similar to previous outbreaks of human coronavirus infection, SARS-CoV in 2003[1],[2] and MERS-CoV in 2012 [3], the new SARS-CoV-2 infection causes clinical symptoms such as fever, dry cough, myalgia and/or fatigue. Some patients may suffer from pain or symptoms like a stuffy or runny nose, sore throat, loss of smell (anosmia)/taste (ageusia) or diarrhoea. COVID-19 developed into a pandemic that spread rapidly in China and later worldwide.

The outbreak of this disease has forced state authorities to take drastic steps to contain the situation, including the quarantine of many millions of people across the world. However, these efforts are limited by a serious problem - the differentiation of those who are/have been infected with COVID-19 from those who do not have the infection. The clinical symptoms present in confirmed COVID-19 cases are not unique to COVID-19 since they are similar to those of other infectious viral diseases such as influenza [4]. The viral nucleic acid real-time polymerase chain reaction test is currently the standard tool for supporting clinical diagnosis of the infection [5] despite long turnaround times, the expensive equipment required and reports of false negative results for the COVID-19 RT-PCR [6].
To support efforts to contain the further spread there is an urgent need to use different test methods to swiftly identify and classify patients infected with SARS-CoV-2. This will help prevent further transmission of the virus and ensure early treatment of patients.

[1] Ksiazek TG, Erdman D, Goldsmith CS, et al. A novel coronavirus associated with severe acute respiratory syndrome. N Engl J Med. 2003;348(20):1953-1966.
[2] Kuiken T, Fouchier RA, Schutten M, et al. Newly discovered coronavirus as the primary cause of severe acute respiratory syndrome. Lancet. 2003;362(9380):263-270.
[3] Zaki AM, van Boheemen S, Bestebroer TM, Osterhaus AD, Fouchier RA. Isolation of a novel coronavirus from a man with pneumonia in Saudi Arabia. N Engl J Med. 2012;367(19):1814-1820
[4] Wang C, Yu H, Horby PW, et al. Comparison of patients hospitalized with influenza A subtypes H7N9, H5N1, and 2009 pandemic H1N1. Clin Infect Dis. 2014;58(8):1095-1103
[5] Jin YH, Cai L, Cheng ZS, et al. A rapid advice guideline for the diagnosis and treatment of 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) infected pneumonia (standard version). Mil Med Res. 2020;7(1):4
[6] Gallagher J. Are Coronavirus Tests Flawed? BBC News, www.bbccom/news/health-51491763. 13 Feb. 2020