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Basic Guide: Laboratory Testing

A reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test can detect SARS-CoV in clinical specimens, including blood, stool, and nasal secretions.

Serologic testing also can be performed to detect SARS-CoV antibodies produced after infection. Finally, viral culture has been used to detect SARS-CoV.

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What is a PCR test?

PCR (or polymerase chain reaction) is a laboratory method for detecting the genetic material of an infectious disease agent in specimens from patients. This type of testing has become an essential tool for detecting infectious disease agents.

What does serologic testing involve?

A serologic test is a laboratory method for detecting the presence and/or level of antibodies to an infectious agent in serum from a person. Antibodies are substances made by the body's immune system to fight a specific infection.

What does viral culture and isolation involve?

For a viral culture, a small sample of tissue or fluid that may be infected is placed in a container along with cells in which the virus can grow. If the virus grows in the culture, it will cause changes in the cells that can be seen under a microscope.


  • SARS Quiz
    In this quiz you will find questions based on the information available in Basic Guide, Virus and Prevention.

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    Online crossword puzzle based on Basic Guide.

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    In this short Flash game, you will be taking on the role of the Health Minister of the imaginary country of Asitwon. Your aim is to use all necessary means to prevent a SARS outbreak in the country.

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