COVID-19 Evidence Alerts
from McMaster PLUSTM

Current best evidence for clinical care (more info)

Diagnosis La Marca A, Capuzzo M, Paglia T, et al. Testing for SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19): a systematic review and clinical guide to molecular and serological in-vitro diagnostic assays. Reprod Biomed Online. 2020 Sep;41(3):483-499. doi: 10.1016/j.rbmo.2020.06.001. Epub 2020 Jun 14.

The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and its associated coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has demanded rapid upscaling of in-vitro diagnostic assays to enable mass screening and testing of high-risk groups, and simultaneous ascertainment of robust data on past SARS-CoV-2 exposure at an individual and a population level. To meet the exponential demand in testing, there has been an accelerated development of both molecular and serological assays across a plethora of platforms. The present review discusses the current literature on these modalities, including nucleic acid amplification tests, direct viral antigen tests and the rapidly expanding laboratory-based and point of care serological tests. This suite of complementary tests will inform crucial decisions by healthcare providers and policy makers, and understanding their strengths and limitations will be critical to their judicious application for the development of algorithmic approaches to treatment and public health strategies.

Discipline / Specialty Area Score
Public Health
Family Medicine (FM)/General Practice (GP)
General Internal Medicine-Primary Care(US)
Hospital Doctor/Hospitalists
Internal Medicine
Infectious Disease
Intensivist/Critical Care
Emergency Medicine
Comments from MORE raters

Emergency Medicine rater

This piece of literature adds little to our practice with a mess of information gathered from online medical resources. Our current practice doesn't seem to change after all.

Infectious Disease rater

A further systematic review has been published, though it does have a meta-analysis (BMJ2020;370:m2516).

Infectious Disease rater

It is a shame that a detailed work like this is somewhat outdated at its time of printing because of the rapid technologic changes in the field.

Intensivist/Critical Care rater

While it is important for clinicians to understand test characteristics, this review is probably beyond the immediate needs of front line clinicians. It is more likely of interest to medical microbiologists and infectious disease experts.

Intensivist/Critical Care rater

This is a review and summary of testing modalities in SARS-CoV-2. I don't think there is any new information in this article. While it is a nice summary, and represents a common place to find all of the information, collated, the information is all already available in the medical literature.