SARS-CoV-2 and variant diagnostic testing approaches in the United States

Emmanuel Thomas, Stephanie Delabat, Yamina L. Carattini, David M. Andrews

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Purpose of Review Given the rapid development of diagnostic approaches to test for and diagnose infection with SARS-CoV-2 and its associated variants including Omicron (B.1.1.529), many options are available to diagnose infection. Multiple established diagnostic companies are now providing testing platforms whereas initially, testing was being performed with simple PCR-based tests using standard laboratory reagents. Recent Findings Additional testing platforms continue to be developed, including those to detect specific variants, but challenges with testing, including obtaining testing reagents and other related supplies, are frequently encountered. With time, the testing supply chain has improved, and more established companies are providing materials to support these testing efforts. In the United States (U.S.), the need for rapid assay development and subsequent approval through the attainment of emergency use authorization (EUA) has superseded the traditional arduous diagnostic testing approval workflow mandated by the FDA. Through these efforts, the U.S. has been able to continue to significantly increase its testing capabilities to address this pandemic; however, challenges still remain due to the diversity of the performance characteristics of tests being utilized and newly discovered viral variants. Summary This review provides an overview of the current diagnostic testing landscape, with pertinent information related to SARS-CoV-2 virology, variants and antibody responses that are available to diagnose infection in the U.S.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number2492
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Antibody
  • Antigen
  • COVID-19
  • Nucleic acids
  • PCR
  • SARS-CoV-2

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Infectious Diseases
  • Virology


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