Infection Testing & Diagnostics

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WHO List of Protocols for Laboratory Testing


Technical guidance for laboratories conducting COVID-19 testing.


COVID-19: how hospital-based healthcare workers can arrange laboratory testing for patients


Guidance for healthcare professionals from Public Health England on how to request COVID-19 lab tests

UK government test kit regulations


UK govt. guide and official submission form for manufacturers of COVID-19 test kits

Testing Resource Center


Curated strategies and best-practices for rolling out and scaling testing

The Crick COVID-19 Consortium


Francis Crick Institute shares guidance for steps involved in testing using open protocols and avoiding proprietary bottlenecks.

Supplementary Method 2 Chemical inactivation of clinical samples


Standard operating procedure on the handling of wet and dry swabs

Reopening Playbook


The town of Bolinas, California conducted an ambitious pilot this April and tested every one of its 1845 citizens for COVID-19. Everyone in the population tested negative for active infection. An open-source playbook is underway to empower other communities to take a similar bottom-up approach to clear small populations of COVID.

Online Questionnaires and Diagnostics

See also 🔗


Veterinary scientist hailed for Faroe Islands' lack of COVID-19 deaths

🇫🇴 🔗

Debes Christiansen adapted his salmon-testing lab to test for disease among humans'

FDA authorizes new test that could detect Coronavirus in about 45 minutes


FDA approves new test that could detect Coronavirus in about 45 minutes

Crowdsourcing against coronavirus: Seattle biologists work on DIY test kit


Crowdsourcing against Coronavirus: Seattle biologists work on DIY test kit

Open Initiatives

OpenCOVID-19 initiative


JOGL open-source detection protocol. Developing and sharing open source methodologies to safely test for the presence of COVID-19 using multiple approaches.

Biodesign Challenge 2020


✉️Jim Haseloff @ University of Cambridge -

set up an open DIY device and protocol design group under BioDesign2020

Coronavirus Data Hub


Blockchain technology to check the veracity of data relating to the Coronavirus pandemic

Test Systems and Labs



Open Cell has developed open-source high-throughput COVID-19 emergency labs



Automated test system to scale COVID-19 testing to hundreds of thousands of samples per day.



Peto is a reliable, scalable, event-sourced, open source software system designed to support periodic mass testing for novel infectious diseases such as Coronavirus.

List of COVID-19 Testing in the USA


List of COVID-19 testing in the United States (NOT OPENLY ACCESSIBLE, permission must be requested)

Test Kit Developers & Manufacturers

Lists of Test Kit Manufacturers

FIND database of test kit manufacturers


Over 200 manufacturers of test kits listed

Testing for the Presence of Antibodies



Diazyme has developed an antibody-based test kit for COVID-19



Alphabiolabs has developed an antibody-based test kit for COVID-19 (currently out of stock)



We develop innovative reagents for biomarker & drug discovery scientists through our 3 brands ELISA Genie, Assay Genie & Antibody Genie



MoLogic has been awarded £1 million by the UK government to develop a new COVID-19 test kit



The complete package for the diagnostic of COVID-19

Testing for the Presence of the Virus (rRT-PCR)

SARS CoV-2: NWLP Heat inactivation with no extraction Protocol


Charite Test


Researchers from the German Center for Infection Research (DZIF) at Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlinhave developed a new laboratory assay to detect the novel Chinese Coronavirus. The assay protocol has now been published by WHO as a guideline for diagnostic detection. The new assay enables suspected cases to be tested quickly.

The University of the Basque Country


Basque scientists validate alternative RT-PCR test for COVID-19 detection. Researchers from the University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU), Ikerbasque, Achucarro and the Biofisika Bizkaia Foundation, in collaboration with Osakidetza, the Basque Public Health Service, are participating in the project.



PowerCheck 2019-nCoV Real-time PCR Kit provides the fast and accurate testing solution for Coronavirus, targeting the E gene for beta Coronavirus and the RdRp gene for COVID-19 specifically. Contracted by the South Korean government.



Flexible PCR setup solution. Contracted by the South Korean government.



BGI Develops Real-Time Fluorescent RT-PCR kit for detecting the 2019 Novel Coronavirus



LabCorp’s test has been validated for use with respiratory samples, including nasopharyngeal (NP) or oropharyngeal (OP) aspirates or washes, NP or OP swabs, and broncheoalveolar lavage (BAL). The test is a qualitative assay using PCR technology.


🇺🇸🔗 OK oronavirus-in-as-Little-as-Five-Minutes

Abbott has developed a PCR-derivative blood test with results in ~5 minutes

Some kind of PCR derivative based on video on this page.

Sense Biodetection


Sense Biodetection Ltd is developing a test kit for COVID-19

Some technical details: it's equivalent to PCR using proprietary chemistry and device technology that is ultra rapid and low cost allowing for a single-use product that can be used anywhere"

Diagnostics for the Real World


Uses SAMBA II machines, PCR based, 90 minutes



The ID NOW™ COVID-19 assay is now available for use on the ID NOW platform under U.S. Food and Drug Administration Emergency Use Authorization (EUA). The ID NOW™ COVID-19 rapid test delivers high-quality molecular positive results in as little as 5 minutes, targeting the coronavirus (COVID-19) RdRp Gene.

Saliva sampling for Covid-19 testing  


Detection Using AI

Scripps Research


Downloadable app to wearables from Apple, Fitbit, Garmin, etc. monitors your heart beats. Faster than usual, it can mean that you’re coming down with a cold, flu, Coronavirus, or other viral infection.



XRayCovid-19 is an embryonic project that uses Artificial Intelligence to assist the health system in the COVID-19 diagnostic process. It is characterized by easy use; efficiency in response time and effectiveness in the result.



An open source explainable deep CNN model for predicting the presence of COVID-19 in chest X-rays

Low-dose corticosteroid therapy does not delay viral clearance in patients with COVID-19





80% of all the test bought by Czech republic from China are wrong


The clinical effectiveness of tests to detect the presence of SARS-CoV-2 virus, and antibodies to SARS-CoV-2, to inform COVID-19 diagnosis


Improved Molecular Diagnosis of COVID-19 by the Novel, Highly Sensitive and Specific COVID-19-RdRp/Hel Real-Time Reverse Transcription-PCR Assay Validated In Vitro and with Clinical Specimens


Heartbreak in the Streets of Wuhan


Unreliability of test results has caused many patients to be excluded during the early weeks of the outbreak in China

Coronavirus test kits purchased from China are unreliable, says Science Committee member


Turkey did not use the rapid Coronavirus kits procured from China after tests suggested they had a low accuracy level, Prof. Dr. Ateş Kara, a member of the Health Ministry’s Coronavirus Science Committee, said on March 26.

Britain has millions of Coronavirus antibody tests, but they don’t work


Britain has millions of Coronavirus antibody test, but they don't work.

Research papers

Mammoth Biosciences


Paper from Mammoth Biosciences describing a CRISPR protocol for detection of COVID-19

Isothermal LAMP PCR + CRISPR Cas12 DETECTR. Needs RNA extraction step.

Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai


A serological assay to detect SARS-CoV-2 seroconversion in humans

Broad Institute


Paper from the Zhang lab at MIT and Harvard on a CRISPR protocol for COVID-19 detection. Isothermal PCR CRISPR Cas13 SHERLOCK

How Broad Institute converted a clinical processing lab into a large-scale COVID-19 testing facility in a matter of days


How Broad Institute converted a clinical processing lab into a large-scale COVID-19 testing facility in a matter of days.



Open-source BOMB Protocol for RNA isolation

Balachandran lab at Brunel University


A lab at Brunel University London has developed a COVID-19 test and is looking for manufacturing partners

Wang, Xu, Gao, et al.


Detection of SARS-CoV-2 in Different Types of Clinical Specimens: finds that COVID-19 may be transmitted by the fecal route

Consistent Detection of 2019 Novel Coronavirus in Saliva


Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) was detected in the self-collected saliva of 91.7% (11/12) of patient

Azzi et al. 2020

🔗 Saliva is a reliable tool to detect SARS-CoV-2

n=25, of severe or very severe disease patients.

Source: drooled or if patient intubated then aspirated using pipette if possible

When: ?when sample taken vs hospitalisation / symptoms?

Preprocess: ? into VTM or lysis or ?  if nasopharyngeal vs saliva processed differently ?

Detection: ?what RNA purification and RT-qPCR system was used.?

Control: ?what positive control was used if any?

Result: All showed positive RT-qPCR of saliva.  Two patients were -ve from nasopharyngeal but +ve from saliva (1 patient for 1 day and another for 2 days).

Saliva Ct always under 33 cycles (range 18.12–32.23, mean 27.16 +/− 3.07).

Hospital now only discharge when negative on 2 nasopharyngeal and 1 saliva

Kai-Wang To et al.

12 February 2020

🔗Consistent Detection of 2019 Novel Coronavirus in Saliva

n=12 hospitalised patients

Source: Saliva was "coughed" out of throat.  Possible contamination with sputum.

When: On first day of hospitalisation all 12 patients were positive from nasopharyngeal or sputum but 11/12 positive from saliva.

Preprocess: sample put into 2 ml VTM

Detection: S gene of 2019-nCoV with QuantiNova SYBR Green RT-PCR Kit (Qiagen)

Control: ?what detection positive control was used if any?

Result: But 11/12 patients then drop to 0 detectable in saliva day 9 after hospitalisation.

Also mentions n=33 whose nasopharyngeal specimens tested negative and all saliva specimens also tested negative.

Kelvin Kw To et al.

🔗(2017) Additional molecular testing of saliva specimens improves the detection of respiratory viruses

"In some patients, Coronavirus was detected only in saliva but not in nasopharyngeal aspirate"

Is for a range of non SARS-2 viruses.


Source: saliva

When: Not clear when sample taken vs hospitalisation / symptoms  Most (146/159) of the saliva specimens were collected <2 days after the collection of the NPA sample.  So introduces error making comparison less fair.




Result: all nasopharyngeal +ve for some virus (not sars-2)

Generally NPA viral load significantly greater than saliva (7.23 vs 5.30 log10 copies per mL)

27/159 (17%) saliva had higher viral load than NPA

Does it state how many had no load?


Source: saliva

When: Not specified but NPA and saliva taken at the same time


Detection: multiplex PCR using the Luminex NxTAG Respiratory Pathogen Panel


Result: detected viruses in both NPA and saliva, some only in NPA, some only in saliva.  Of corona viruses (Coronavirus OC43, Coronavirus 229E) one was detected in NPA and not saliva and one in saliva and not NPA (Table 4)

Wang et al.

🔗Wang et al. 2004 Detection of SARS-associated coronavirus in throat wash and saliva in early diagnosis

"SARS-CoV can be detected in saliva at high titers"


Source: saliva and throat wash (by gargling 10 mL normal saline)

Performed RT-PCR on throat wash supernatant (S), N-acetyl-L-cysteine treated supernatant (M, mucus-associated), and cellular fractions (C).

When: sampling day varied from day 2 to day 9 after onset of fever, with a median of day 4.

Preprocess: -80 oC storage until use.  But showed similar RNA levels in non-frozen and frozen then thawed samples.

Detection: n/a but Qiagen RNA purification followed by Taqman assay design (Applied Biosystems)


Result: saliva had x30 more than throat wash:  throat wash median 3.56 x 10^3 copies/mL, saliva median 9.92 x 10^4 copies/mL

Kojima et al.

🔗Kojima et al. 15 April 2020 Self-Collected Oral Fluid and Nasal Swabs Demonstrate Comparable Sensitivity to Clinician Collected Nasopharyngeal Swabs for Covid-19 Detection

n=45, 29 +ve, samples collected at home


  • self-collected oral fluid swab specimens with and without clinician supervision
  • clinician-supervised self-collected mid-turbinate (nasal) swab specimens
  • clinician-collected nasopharyngeal swab specimens

Preprocess: DNA/RNA Shield™ solution, Zymo Research

Detection:  lysed and extracted with RNA purification kit (Norgen Biotek). RT-PCR single colour TaqMan probe, N1, N2 primer/probe assay (US CDC), N3 (Integrated DNA Technologies)



  • 90% clinician-supervised self-collected oral fluid swab specimens
  • 85% clinician-supervised self-collected mid-turbinate (nasal) swab specimens
  • 79% clinician-collected posterior nasopharyngeal swab specimens
  • 66% unmonitored self-collected oral fluid swab specimens detected

                                (without feedback, some unsupervised patients did not cough before self-collecting their sample)

Wyllie et al.

🔗 Wyllie et al. April 22 2020 Saliva is more sensitive for SARS-CoV-2 detection in COVID-19 patients than nasopharyngeal swabs

n=44, severely diseased

Source: self collected saliva or clinical administered nasopharyngeal swabs

Detection: US CDC SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR


  • higher titre in saliva
  • detected SARS-CoV-2 from saliva but not nasopharyngeal swabs from eight matching samples
  • nasopharyngeal swabs and not saliva from three matched samples
Chunbao Xie et al.

🔗 Comparison of different samples for 2019 novel coronavirus detection by nucleic acid amplification tests

K K W To et al.

🔗 Saliva as a diagnostic specimen for testing respiratory virus by a point-of-care molecular assay: a diagnostic validity study

K K W To et al.

🔗 Respiratory virus infection among hospitalized adult patients with or without clinically apparent respiratory infection: a prospective cohort study

"Saliva has also been used in screening respiratory viruses among hospitalized patients without fever or respiratory symptoms"

Yifei Chen et al.

🔗 The Presence of SARS-CoV-2 RNA in Feces of COVID-19


See also: 🔗

Testing location maps


Map of all current testing locations.



Map of people who have self-reported as having been tested or having been refused testing.


Tony Blair Institute


Summary on the UK position from the Tony Blair Institute

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention


Information from CDC on who should be tested

The Guardian


UK government urged to abandon finger pricking tests

The Government of the Republic of Korea


How South Korea responded to a pandemic using ICT, report including testing

The role of CRP testing in Coronavirus management in China


Abacus DX blog: CRP is an important marker in the prediagnostics and treatment follow up of the new Coronavirus (2019-nCoV).