COVID-19 A PANORAMIC VIEW (PART 3)
Dr. Sunanda Gaddalay, *Dr. Ruchi Rathi, Dr. Anita Kale, Dr. Revtee Birajdar, Dr. Madhuri Agrawal, Dr. Abhishek Badade and Dr. Akshay Gelda
SARS-CoV-2 infection or COVID-19 exhibits a wide range of clinical symptoms; from mild flu-like symptoms to severe respiratory distress syndrome. Identification of COVID-19 patients at early stages will allow prompt intervention for patients with life-threatening complications. Broad categorization of the testing modalities results in 2 major types of tests- molecular assays for detection of SARS-CoV-2 viral RNA using polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based techniques or nucleic acid hybridization-related strategies. Viral RNA testing identifies infected individuals during the acute phase of infection. Serological and immunological assays are included in the second category and they largely depend on detection of antibodies. RT-PCR-based viral RNA detection can neither be used to monitor the progress of the disease stages nor can be applied for identification of past infection and immunity. Antibody tests have an important role to play in these cases, as they provide an assessment of both short-term and long-term trends of antibody response, as well as antibody abundance and diversity. Consequently, these tests are of vital importance for dental professionals. Endodontists being on the front line to address dental emergencies are consequently at a higher risk than other health workers since most procedures involve aerosol generation. Understanding the disease process and the various testing modalities will help to ensure safety of the clinician while ensuring adequate patient care.
Keywords: RT-PCR, ELISA, Rapid antigen test, Antibody response, Dental treatment, Chest CT.
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