We use cookies to understand how you use our site and to improve your experience. This includes personalizing content and advertising. To learn more, click here. By continuing to use our site, you accept our use of cookies. Cookie Policy.

Features Partner Sites Information LinkXpress
Sign In
Advertise with Us
Abbott Diagnostics- Hematology Division

Download Mobile App





COVID-19 Group Testing Method Delivers Results 13 Times Faster than Individual Testing of Each Sample

By LabMedica International staff writers
Posted on 30 Mar 2021
Print article
Illustration
Illustration
A new group method of testing for COVID-19 allows results to be obtained 13 times faster as compared to individual testing of each sample.

The new method developed by researchers from the HSE Laboratory of Algorithms and Technologies for Networks Analysis (Nizhny Novgorod, Russia) and Vilnius University (Vilnius, Lithuania) can be used for asymptomatic populations with seemingly low incidence of coronavirus cases, where it will help detect the infected individuals at a maximum speed with a minimum number of tests, and timely apply the quarantine measures in order to prevent spreading of the disease.

Present COVID-19 testing solutions are based on the extraction of RNA from patients using oropharyngeal and nasopharyngeal swabs, and then testing with real-time PCR for the presence of specific RNA filaments identifying the virus. The speed of this approach is limited by the availability of reactants, trained technicians and laboratories. One way to speed up the testing procedures is group testing, where the swabs of multiple patients are grouped together and tested. The swabs from groups that return a positive result are then tested individually in order to detect specific COVID-19 positive patients. This approach helps decrease the number of tests twofold or more (depending on the spread of the disease) as compared to individual testing of each swab.

For example, suppose 96 samples should be tested and pools of up to 12 samples are possible. In individual testing, 96 tests are necessary. In pool testing, 8 pools of 12 samples are taken and testing is performed. If the result of one pool is positive, then additional 12 individual tests are needed. If two or three groups return a positive result, 24 or 36 additional tests are required, which, together with the first eight tests, will mean a decrease in the number of tests from two to five times as compared to individual testing. The researchers believe that the number of tests can be decreased by optimizing the size of groups that takes into account the total number of swabs and the forecasted number of infected individuals. As the number of infected individuals increases, the possibility of saving swabs decreases but is still about 40% in the event of an incidence of 100 positive samples per 1,000, and 18% for an incidence of 200 per 1,000.

There are ways to optimize group testing, such as choosing the optimal group size based on the total number of swabs and the projected level of disease spreading. Another is the binary splitting method, in which a positive group is split into halves and is tested again, until individual positive swabs are detected. The second method, however, is very time-consuming, which decreases its attractiveness during a pandemic. In addition, to optimize group testing, transposition-based replication is used: after grouping the swabs, researchers form additional control groups from the same swabs and test them together with the main groups. This helps further cut the number of tests, and if the disease levels are low, it also helps to detect positive swabs in one step, which speeds up the testing considerably.

However, this method does not allow for experimenting with group sizes to detect the optimal group size under specific conditions. Researchers from HSE University and Vilnius University suggested OptReplica technology, which uses a more complicated algorithm of swab grouping in key and control groups and helps decrease the number of control groups. In addition, the algorithm helps calculate the optimal group size for the present number of swabs and the forecasted level of disease spreading. The researchers conducted experimental research on samples of 96 and 384 swabs, carrying out 100 randomized tests for each sample size, and compared the effectiveness of transposition-based replication and OptReplica method for different levels of disease incidence. The studies have shown that if the optimal size of groups is chosen, OptReplica is more effective than transposition-based replication. In cases with low incidence, the use of OptReplica, a 13x average reduction of tests can be achieved compared to individual testing without time delay.

“Our simulations are actually proving that using this optimization replication strategy is always advantageous and, even in case of high spread of the disease (10% or 20% of positives in the population), we are still competitive with individual testing strategy,” explained Mario Guarracino, Chief Research Fellow of the Laboratory of Algorithms and Technologies for Networks Analysis.

Related Links:
HSE Laboratory of Algorithms and Technologies for Networks Analysis
Vilnius University


Gold Supplier
SARS-CoV-2 IgG Immunoassay
SARS-CoV-2 IgG II Quant
New
Auto Multiparameter POC Analyzer
Triage MeterPro
New
Tips, Pasteur Pipettes and Serological Pipettes
PROMED Tips, Pasteur Pipettes and Serological Pipettes
New
Cytology Sample Processor
SDSCP9000 CytoPath Processor

Print article

Channels

Clinical Chem.

view channel
Image: Illustration is of the Vertical Auto Profile (VAP) Lipid test with clear demarcation of the different lipoprotein classes and subclasses. (Photo courtesy of VAP Diagnostics Laboratory)

Lipoprotein(a) Concentrations Correlate With LDL-C in Diabetic Children

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is a significant cause of mortality in those with diabetes. Increased apolipoprotein B (apoB) and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) have been shown in pediatric patients... Read more

Molecular Diagnostics

view channel
Image: Model of the PD-1 (Programmed cell death protein 1) protein. Only a subset of recurrent glioblastomas respond to anti-PD-1 immunotherapy (Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)

Biomarker Predicts Potential Benefit of Checkpoint Inhibitor Therapy for Brain Cancer Patients

A phosphorylated form of ERK (extracellular signal-regulated kinase) protein has been identified as a biomarker that may be used to predict which brain cancer patients might benefit from checkpoint inhibitor... Read more

Hematology

view channel
Image: The UniCel DxH 800 Coulter Cellular Analysis System (Photo courtesy of Beckman Coulter)

Monocyte Distribution Width Predicts Sepsis in Critically Ill Patients

Sepsis has been reported as a major cause of increased morbidity, length of stay and mortality among patients hospitalized in Intensive Care Units (ICUs) for any cause. The survival of patients developing... Read more

Immunology

view channel
Image: Procartaplex Immunoassays Kits are based on the principles of a sandwich ELISA, using two highly specific antibodies binding to different epitopes of one protein to quantitate all protein targets simultaneously (Photo courtesy of Thermo Fisher Scientific)

Assay Developed for Patient-Specific Monitoring and Treatment for Ovarian Cancer

Tumors can influence peripheral immune macroenvironment, thereby creating opportunities for non-invasive serum/plasma immunobiomarkers for immunostratification and immunotherapy designing.... Read more

Microbiology

view channel
Image: Clinical metagenomics (CMg) using nanopore sequencing (Photo courtesy of Oxford Nanopore Technologies)

Same Day Test Identifies Secondary Infections in COVID-19 Patients

The intensive care unit (ICU) is a dynamic environment with frequent staff-patient contact for invasive monitoring, interventions and personal care that together introduce the risk of secondary or nosocomial... Read more

Pathology

view channel
Image: The Ventana BenchMark Ultra autostainer is for cancer diagnostics with automation and the test menu include IHC, ISH, and FITC tests (Photo courtesy of Ventana Medical System)

Specific Biomarker Investigated for Triple-Negative Breast Cancer Diagnosis

Triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) is defined by the lack of estrogen receptor (ER), progesterone receptor (PR), and human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) expression and comprises a heterogeneous... Read more

Technology

view channel
Image: PKeye Workflow Monitor System (Photo courtesy of PerkinElmer, Inc.)

PerkinElmer’s New Cloud-Based Platform Enables Laboratory Personnel to Remotely Manage Its Instruments in Real-Time

PerkinElmer, Inc. (Waltham, MA; USA) has launched its PKeye Workflow Monitor, a cloud-based platform enabling laboratory personnel to remotely manage and monitor their PerkinElmer instruments and workflows... Read more

Industry

view channel
Illustration

Global HBA1c Laboratory Tests Market Driven by Rise in Diabetic Population

The global HBA1c laboratory tests market is projected to expand at a significant pace over the coming years, driven by an increase in the prevalence of diabetes, rise in prescription rate of HBA1c tests... Read more
Copyright © 2000-2021 Globetech Media. All rights reserved.