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1.
BMC Health Serv Res ; 21(1): 1153, 2021 Oct 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1484313

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Antigen-based lateral flow devices (LFDs) offer the potential of widespread rapid testing. The scientific literature has primarily focused on mathematical modelling of their use and test performance characteristics. For these tests to be implemented successfully, an understanding of the real-world contextual factors that allow them to be integrated into the workplace is vital. To address this gap in knowledge, we aimed to explore staff's experiences of integrating LFDs into routine practice for visitors and staff testing with a view to understand implementation facilitators and barriers. METHODS: Semi-structured interviews and thematic analysis. RESULTS: We identified two main themes and five subthemes. The main themes included: visitor-related testing factors and staff-related testing factors. Subthemes included: restoring a sense of normality, visitor-related testing challenges, staff-related testing challenges, and pre-pilot antecedent factors. CONCLUSION: Our study demonstrates that the real-world implementation of LFDs to test visitors and staff faces significant challenges as a result of several contextual factors negatively affecting the work practice and environment. More comprehensive studies are needed to identify and inform effective implementation strategies to ensure that LFDs can be adopted in an agile way that better supports an already exhausted and morally depleted workforce.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Long-Term Care , Humans , Nursing Homes , Qualitative Research , SARS-CoV-2
2.
Public Health ; 198: 260-262, 2021 Sep.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1392528

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: This study aimed to investigate public use of lateral flow tests (LFT) and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests when experiencing key COVID-19 symptoms. STUDY DESIGN: In this study, data from two waves of a cross-sectional nationally representative online survey (data collected 1 and 2 June, and 14 and 15 June 2021; n = 3665 adults aged ≥18 years living in England or Scotland) were used. METHODS: We report data investigating which type of test, if any, the public think Government guidance asks people to use if they have COVID-19 symptoms. In people with key COVID-19 symptoms (high temperature / fever; new, continuous cough; loss of sense of smell; loss of taste), we also describe the uptake of testing, if any. RESULTS: Ten percent of respondents thought Government guidance stated that they should take an LFT if symptomatic, whereas 18% of people thought that they should take a PCR test; 60% of people thought they should take both types of test (12% did not select either option). In people who were symptomatic, 32% reported taking a test to confirm whether they had COVID-19. Of these, 53% reported taking a PCR test and 44% reported taking an LFT. CONCLUSIONS: Despite Government guidance stating that anyone with key COVID-19 symptoms should complete a PCR test, a significant percentage of the population use LFT tests when symptomatic. Communications should emphasise the superiority of, and need for, PCR tests in people with symptoms.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Adolescent , Adult , Cross-Sectional Studies , Humans , Polymerase Chain Reaction , SARS-CoV-2 , Surveys and Questionnaires
3.
ACS Sens ; 6(8): 2815-2837, 2021 08 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1358339

ABSTRACT

This review covers emerging biosensors for SARS-CoV-2 detection together with a review of the biochemical and clinical assays that are in use in hospitals and clinical laboratories. We discuss the gap in bridging the current practice of testing laboratories with nucleic acid amplification methods, and the robustness of assays the laboratories seek, and what emerging SARS-CoV-2 sensors have currently addressed in the literature. Together with the established nucleic acid and biochemical tests, we review emerging technology and antibody tests to determine the effectiveness of vaccines on individuals.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19 Testing , Humans , Laboratories , Nucleic Acid Amplification Techniques
4.
Age Ageing ; 50(6): 1868-1875, 2021 11 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1316792

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Care homes have been severely affected by the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. Rapid antigen testing could identify most SARS-CoV-2 infected staff and visitors before they enter homes. We explored implementation of staff and visitor testing protocols using lateral flow devices (LFDs). METHODS: An evaluation of a SARS-CoV-2 LFD-based testing protocol in 11 care homes in Liverpool, UK, including staff and visitor testing, plus a qualitative exploratory study in nine of these homes. The proportion of pilot homes with outbreaks, and outbreak size, were compared to non-pilot homes in Liverpool. Adherence to testing protocols was evaluated. Fifteen staff were interviewed, and transcript data were thematically coded using an iterative analysis to identify and categorize factors influencing testing implementation. RESULTS: In total, 1,638 LFD rapid tests were performed on 407 staff. Protocol adherence was poor with 8.6% of staff achieving >75% protocol adherence, and 25.3% achieving $\ge$50%. Six care homes had outbreaks during the study. Compared to non-pilot care homes, there was no evidence of significant difference in the proportion of homes with outbreaks, or the size of outbreaks. Qualitative data showed difficulty implementing testing strategies due to excessive work burden. Factors influencing adherence related to test integration and procedural factors, socio-economic factors, cognitive overload and the emotional value of testing. CONCLUSION: Implementation of staff and visitor care home LFD testing protocols was poorly adhered to and consequently did not reduce the number or scale of COVID-19 outbreaks. More focus is needed on the contextual and behavioural factors that influence protocol adherence.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , COVID-19 Testing , Disease Outbreaks/prevention & control , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
5.
EBioMedicine ; 68: 103414, 2021 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1258361

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: SARS-CoV-2 antibody tests are used for population surveillance and might have a future role in individual risk assessment. Lateral flow immunoassays (LFIAs) can deliver results rapidly and at scale, but have widely varying accuracy. METHODS: In a laboratory setting, we performed head-to-head comparisons of four LFIAs: the Rapid Test Consortium's AbC-19TM Rapid Test, OrientGene COVID IgG/IgM Rapid Test Cassette, SureScreen COVID-19 Rapid Test Cassette, and Biomerica COVID-19 IgG/IgM Rapid Test. We analysed blood samples from 2,847 key workers and 1,995 pre-pandemic blood donors with all four devices. FINDINGS: We observed a clear trade-off between sensitivity and specificity: the IgG band of the SureScreen device and the AbC-19TM device had higher specificities but OrientGene and Biomerica higher sensitivities. Based on analysis of pre-pandemic samples, SureScreen IgG band had the highest specificity (98.9%, 95% confidence interval 98.3 to 99.3%), which translated to the highest positive predictive value across any pre-test probability: for example, 95.1% (95% uncertainty interval 92.6, 96.8%) at 20% pre-test probability. All four devices showed higher sensitivity at higher antibody concentrations ("spectrum effects"), but the extent of this varied by device. INTERPRETATION: The estimates of sensitivity and specificity can be used to adjust for test error rates when using these devices to estimate the prevalence of antibody. If tests were used to determine whether an individual has SARS-CoV-2 antibodies, in an example scenario in which 20% of individuals have antibodies we estimate around 5% of positive results on the most specific device would be false positives. FUNDING: Public Health England.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/analysis , COVID-19/diagnosis , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Early Diagnosis , Humans , Immunoassay , Pandemics , Population Surveillance , Prospective Studies , Sensitivity and Specificity
6.
ACS Sens ; 5(12): 3655-3677, 2020 12 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-955889

ABSTRACT

Diagnosis of COVID-19 has been challenging owing to the need for mass testing and for combining distinct types of detection to cover the different stages of the infection. In this review, we have surveyed the most used methodologies for diagnosis of COVID-19, which can be basically categorized into genetic-material detection and immunoassays. Detection of genetic material with real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and similar techniques has been achieved with high accuracy, but these methods are expensive and require time-consuming protocols which are not widely available, especially in less developed countries. Immunoassays for detecting a few antibodies, on the other hand, have been used for rapid, less expensive tests, but their accuracy in diagnosing infected individuals has been limited. We have therefore discussed the strengths and limitations of all of these methodologies, particularly in light of the required combination of tests owing to the long incubation periods. We identified the bottlenecks that prevented mass testing in many countries, and proposed strategies for further action, which are mostly associated with materials science and chemistry. Of special relevance are the methodologies which can be integrated into point-of-care (POC) devices and the use of artificial intelligence that do not require products from a well-developed biotech industry.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/virology , Immunoassay , Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Artificial Intelligence , Humans , Point-of-Care Systems , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification
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