The world as we all know it changed dramatically in the early months of 2020 with the onset of COVID-19. With business closures and hospital overloads occurring around the globe, researchers felt the urge to find solutions to the evolving pandemic. However, testing on an individual basis was soon found to be expensive, time consuming, and full of obstacles. With a lack of supplies (i.e. swabs, masks, etc.) and a shortage of healthy and cooperative health care professionals, it was quickly understood that testing every individual was not an effective or realistic solution.
Cell-free DNA (cfDNA) refers to all circulating DNA present in the bloodstream which may originate from apoptotic cells as a part of the natural cell turnover, from cancer cells or fetal cells. A number of studies have highlighted the utility of cfDNA analysis for genetic profiling of various types of cancer, non-invasive prenatal testing (NIPT), and just recently, for monitoring organ-specific damage in systemic diseases like COVID19.
Editor's Update (June 20, 2020): The information represented in this article is a representation of when the original article was written on February 26th, 2020
Chances are, you’ve been keeping tabs on the recent coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) outbreak that has emerged out of Wuhan, China—and rightly so. Infectious diseases such as SARS, MERS, Ebola, and this new strain of the coronavirus (CoV) cause widespread morbidity and mortality, provoke civil unrest, and disrupt global travel and supply chains.