Researchers have proposed a brand new quantitative technique for pooling COVID-19 exams in an effort to monitor unfold and detect outbreaks early inside closed communities, similar to nursing houses or universities. Vincent Brault of Université Grenoble Alpes in Grenoble, France, and colleagues current this technique within the open-access journal PLOS Computational Biology.
Within the face of restricted provides, some communities have achieved large-scale COVID-19 testing by grouping people’ saliva or nasal swab samples into swimming pools. If a pool exams damaging, all folks within the pool obtain a damaging outcome. If it exams optimistic, follow-up testing exhibits who in that pool is optimistic. Nonetheless, pooling can doubtlessly dilute a optimistic pattern, leading to a damaging outcome when somebody within the pool is in actual fact optimistic: a false-negative outcome.
Within the new examine, Brault and colleagues used quantitative instruments to look at the issue of false negatives within the context of closed communities. Whereas earlier analysis on pooling has usually targeted on minimizing the variety of exams wanted to pinpoint a optimistic case, this examine targeted on pooling as a approach to monitor the presence of COVID-19 in a neighborhood.
The analysis group developed mathematical fashions that estimate the chance of false-negative outcomes when particular person samples are pooled for COVID-19 testing by way of the reverse transcription quantitative polymerase chain response (RT-qPCR) technique. These fashions drew on large-scale scientific datasets on the focus of SARS-CoV-2—the virus that causes COVID-19—inside particular person samples.
Primarily based on the fashions, the researchers developed a quantitative pooled-testing protocol for figuring out the prevalence of COVID-19 inside a closed neighborhood, similar to a nursing dwelling or college. Whereas additional refinement is required to organize the protocol for sensible utility, it may set the stage for earlier detection of outbreaks.
“We discovered that pooling isn’t solely a promising technique to interrupt transmission chains on the earliest stage, however that it is usually surprisingly environment friendly at estimating the extent of viral penetration in communities,” Brault mentioned. “We predict pooled testing may change into a broader software to fight asymptomatic unfold amongst kids at faculties.”
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Brault V, Mallein B, Rupprecht J-F (2021) Group testing as a technique for COVID-19 epidemiological monitoring and neighborhood surveillance. PLoS Comput Biol 17(3): e1008726. doi.org/10.1371/journal.pcbi.1008726
A brand new technique for pooling COVID-19 exams to detect outbreaks early (2021, March 4)
retrieved 23 March 2021
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