Beatriz Böger 1, Mariana M Fachi 1, Raquel O Vilhena 2, Alexandre F Cobre 1, Fernanda S Tonin 1, Roberto Pontarolo 3
Am J Infect Control 2021 Jan;49(1):21-29. doi: 10.1016/j.ajic.2020.07.011.
Objective: To collate the evidence on the accuracy parameters of all available diagnostic methods for detecting SARS-CoV-2.
Methods: A systematic review with meta-analysis was performed. Searches were conducted in Pubmed and Scopus (April 2020). Studies reporting data on sensitivity or specificity of diagnostic tests for COVID-19 using any human biological sample were included.
Results: Sixteen studies were evaluated. Meta-analysis showed that computed tomography has high sensitivity (91.9% [89.8%-93.7%]), but low specificity (25.1% [21.0%-29.5%]). The combination of IgM and IgG antibodies demonstrated promising results for both parameters (84.5% [82.2%-86.6%]; 91.6% [86.0%-95.4%], respectively). For RT-PCR tests, rectal stools/swab, urine, and plasma were less sensitive while sputum (97.2% [90.3%-99.7%]) presented higher sensitivity for detecting the virus.
Conclusions: RT-PCR remains the gold standard for the diagnosis of COVID-19 in sputum samples. However, the combination of different diagnostic tests is highly recommended to achieve adequate sensitivity and specificity.
Keywords: Coronavirus; Evidence; SARS-CoV-2; Sensitivity; Specificity.
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