Korean Society for Laboratory Medicine Practice Guidelines for the Molecular Diagnosis of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome During an Outbreak in Korea in 2015.Ann Lab Med. 2016 May; 36(3):203-8.AL
For two months between May and July 2015, a nationwide outbreak of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) occurred in Korea. On June 3, 2015, the Korean Society for Laboratory Medicine (KSLM) launched a MERS-CoV Laboratory Response Task Force (LR-TF) to facilitate clinical laboratories to set up the diagnosis of MERS-CoV infection. Based on the WHO interim recommendations, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of United States guidelines for MERS-CoV laboratory testing, and other available resources, the KSLM MERS-CoV LR-TF provided the first version of the laboratory practice guidelines for the molecular diagnosis of MERS-CoV to the clinical laboratories on June 12, 2015. The guidelines described here are an updated version that includes case definition, indications for testing, specimen type and protocols for specimen collection, specimen packing and transport, specimen handling and nucleic acid extraction, molecular detection of MERS-CoV, interpretation of results and reporting, and laboratory safety. The KSLM guidelines mainly focus on the molecular diagnosis of MERS-CoV, reflecting the unique situation in Korea and the state of knowledge at the time of publication.