Strategies of RT-PCR-based assay design and surveillance of SARS-CoV-2
High population density in the cities with bustling transportation systems and a thriving tourism industry can promote the global spread of a viral infection in a matter of days. The novel SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus has already infected over 2,000,000 people worldwide and caused upwards of 156,000 deaths. One of the factors driving the rapid unfolding of the pandemic is the absence of diagnostic tests for SARS-CoV-2 detection. Molecular techniques allow SARS-CoV-2 RNA to be quickly detected in clinical samples, aiding the differential diagnosis in severely ill patients and facilitating identification of asymptomatic carriers or presymptomatic individuals. Real-time PCR with fluorescent hybridization is the most available, highly sensitive and specific technique for SARS-CoV-2 RNA detection in biological samples. More RT-PCR assay kits are needed for mass screening, which will help to identify infected individuals and contain the current outbreak of COVID-19 in Russia.