Laboratory testing is crucial for the diagnosis and management of fast-spreading viral infections such as coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The COVID-19 outbreak highlights the need to rapidly develop and implement diagnostic tests for infectious agents of global health concern, according to Matthew Binnicker, Ph.D., Mayo Clinic's Director of Clinical Virology.
The COVID-19 outbreak is rapidly evolving, and its full impact remains unknown. But in an opinion article in Clinical Chemistry, Dr. Binnicker notes that COVID-19's nonspecific clinical features pose a major challenge to public health officials and healthcare providers seeking to control the disease.
"This outbreak represents an opportunity for government agencies, the public health sector, industry and clinical laboratories to partner and develop a robust and sustainable system that would allow for rapid development, production, dissemination and implementation of diagnostic tests for infectious agents of global concern," Dr. Binnicker says. "Laboratory testing is needed at the front lines, whenever feasible and safe."
Read "Emergence of a Novel Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) and the Importance of Diagnostic Testing: Why Partnership between Clinical Laboratories, Public Health Agencies, and Industry is Essential to Control the Outbreak."