SARS-CoV-2 Tests 2023

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Last reviewed
January 26, 2023
Content Overview
Diagnostic tests can detect SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus infections in people in 2023.

SARS-CoV-2 Coronavirus Tests 2023

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has authorized over 400 tests and sample collection devices under emergency use authorizations (EUAs). In addition, the U.S. NIH's COVID-19 Treatment Guidelines Panel recommends using either a nucleic acid amplification test (NAAT) or an antigen test with a sample collected from the upper respiratory tract (e.g., nasopharyngeal, nasal mid-turbinate, anterior nasal) to diagnose acute SARS-CoV-2 infection.

The FDA updated the information about at-home over-the-counter COVID-19 diagnostic tests, Antibody Testing Information for Patients and Consumers, and the question and answer resources: COVID-19 Test Development and Test Uses. The FDA recommends repeat testing following a negative result whether or not you have COVID-19 symptoms.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published updated test guidelines and launched the COVID-19 Testing Locator website on January 24, 2023, which enables consumers to search for free COVID-19 testing sites.

SARS-CoV-2 Diagnostic Tests

Diagnostic testing analyzes the qualitative detection of nucleic acid from the COVID-19 disease in upper and lower respiratory specimens such as nasal swabs, throat swabs, and, if possible, sputum collected from individuals who meet COVID-19 clinical and/or epidemiological criteria.

Nucleic acid amplification tests are molecular tests that detect the virus's genetic material collected from the patient.

SARS-CoV-2 Serological Antibody Test

Antibody testing is essential to tell if someone has been previously infected. In addition, it will provide more understanding of the coronavirus, including how long antibodies stay in the body. However, if they provide immunity, there is no identified advantage of assays on whether they test for IgG, IgM, IgG, or total antibody, says the CDC. The serology or antibody test measures the number of antibodies present in the blood when the body responds to a specific infection, like SARS-CoV-2.

SARS-CoV-2 Lateral Flow Tests

Lateral flow tests (LFTs) can tell you if you're infected with COVID-19 within minutes, rather than waiting 24-48 hours for the results of a PCR test. A recent Cochrane Review (March 2021) combined the results of multiple studies assessing the accuracy of LFTs and found that the average sensitivity of such tests was 72% among people with COVID-19 symptoms and 58% for people without symptoms. 

SARS-CoV-2 Tests For 2023

The U.S. Administration announced expanding access to free virus testing options through for the winter season of 2022-2023. All U.S. households can order four at-home COVID-19 tests that will be mailed directly to them for free.

On May 16, 2022, the U.S. FDA authorized the Labcorp Seasonal Respiratory Virus RT-PCR DTC Test for use without a prescription by individuals with symptoms of respiratory viral infection consistent with COVID-19. 

And Quest Diagnostics offers COVID-19, flu, and RSV combination testing. While seasonal flu, RSV, and COVID-19 are contagious respiratory illnesses, they are not the same viruses, says the CDC.

SARS-CoV-2 Exposure Calculator

The U.S. CDC published the Isolation and Exposure Calculator to help people determine if they need to take steps to prevent the spreading of SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus.

Test News 2023

January 26, 2023 - Roche and its subsidiary TIB Molbiol have developed a COVID-19 PCR test for researchers that detects and differentiates the latest variant of concern, XBB.1.5. The XBB.1.5 variant is prevalent in the United States and is quickly spreading to other countries. Being able to differentiate emerging variants and understand their similarities and mutations provides a basis for experts to make predictions about their spread and respond with appropriate treatment strategies. The test, VirSNiP SARS-CoV-2 Spike F486P, is for use on the LightCycler® 480 II and cobas® z 480.