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2.
Am J Clin Pathol ; 153(6): 715-718, 2020 05 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1109161

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: To establish the optimal parameters for group testing of pooled specimens for the detection of SARS-CoV-2. METHODS: The most efficient pool size was determined to be five specimens using a web-based application. From this analysis, 25 experimental pools were created using 50 µL from one SARS-CoV-2 positive nasopharyngeal specimen mixed with 4 negative patient specimens (50 µL each) for a total volume of 250 µL. Viral RNA was subsequently extracted from each pool and tested using the CDC SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR assay. Positive pools were consequently split into individual specimens and tested by extraction and PCR. This method was also tested on an unselected group of 60 nasopharyngeal specimens grouped into 12 pools. RESULTS: All 25 pools were positive with cycle threshold (Ct) values within 0 and 5.03 Ct of the original individual specimens. The analysis of 60 specimens determined that 2 pools were positive followed by identification of 2 individual specimens among the 60 tested. This testing was accomplished while using 22 extractions/PCR tests, a savings of 38 reactions. CONCLUSIONS: When the incidence rate of SARS-CoV-2 infection is 10% or less, group testing will result in the saving of reagents and personnel time with an overall increase in testing capability of at least 69%.


Subject(s)
Clinical Laboratory Techniques/economics , Clinical Laboratory Techniques/methods , Medical Laboratory Personnel/economics , Specimen Handling/economics , Specimen Handling/methods , Betacoronavirus/genetics , Betacoronavirus/isolation & purification , COVID-19 Testing , Clinical Laboratory Techniques/instrumentation , Clinical Laboratory Techniques/standards , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Coronavirus Infections/economics , Humans , RNA, Viral/genetics , RNA, Viral/isolation & purification , Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction/economics , SARS-CoV-2 , Specimen Handling/standards
3.
Int J Infect Dis ; 100: 490-496, 2020 Nov.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-959801

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: Nosocomial infection is an ongoing concern in the COVID-19 outbreak. The effective screening of suspected cases in the healthcare setting is therefore necessary, enabling the early identification and prompt isolation of cases for epidemic containment. We aimed to assess the cost and health outcomes of an extended screening strategy, implemented in Singapore on 07 February 2020, which maximizes case identification in the public healthcare system. METHODS: We explored the effects of the expanded screening criteria which allow clinicians to isolate and investigate patients presenting with undifferentiated fever or respiratory symptoms or chest x-ray abnormalities. We formulated a cost appraisal framework which evaluated the treatment costs averted from the prevention of secondary transmission in the hospital setting, as determined by a branching process infection model, and compared these to the costs of the additional testing required to meet the criteria. RESULTS: In the base case analysis, an R0 of 2.5 and incubation period of 4 days, an estimated 239 (95% CI: 201-287) cases could be averted over 150 days within the hospital setting through ESC. A corresponding $2.36 (2-2.85) million USD in costs could be averted with net cost savings of $124,000 (95% CI: -334,000 to 516,000). In the sensitivity analyses, when positive identification rates (PIR) were above 7%, regardless of R0 and incubation period, all scenarios were cost-saving. CONCLUSION: The expanded screening criteria can help to identify and promptly isolate positive COVID cases in a cost-saving manner or within acceptable cost margins where the costs incurred from the testing of negative patients could be negated by the averted costs. Outbreak control must be sustainable and effective; the proposed screening criteria should be considered to mitigate nosocomial transmission risk within healthcare facilities.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus , Clinical Laboratory Techniques/economics , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Adult , COVID-19 , COVID-19 Testing , Coronavirus Infections/economics , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Cross Infection/prevention & control , Female , Health Care Costs , Humans , Middle Aged , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2 , Young Adult
6.
Sci Rep ; 10(1): 18543, 2020 10 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-894417

ABSTRACT

The international community has been put in an unprecedented situation by the COVID-19 pandemic. Creating models to describe and quantify alternative mitigation strategies becomes increasingly urgent. In this study, we propose an agent-based model of disease transmission in a society divided into closely connected families, workplaces, and social groups. This allows us to discuss mitigation strategies, including targeted quarantine measures. We find that workplace and more diffuse social contacts are roughly equally important to disease spread, and that an effective lockdown must target both. We examine the cost-benefit of replacing a lockdown with tracing and quarantining contacts of the infected. Quarantine can contribute substantially to mitigation, even if it has short duration and is done within households. When reopening society, testing and quarantining is a strategy that is much cheaper in terms of lost workdays than a long lockdown. A targeted quarantine strategy is quite efficient with only 5 days of quarantine, and its effect increases when testing is more widespread.


Subject(s)
Clinical Laboratory Techniques/economics , Coronavirus Infections/economics , Cost-Benefit Analysis , Pandemics/economics , Pneumonia, Viral/economics , Quarantine/economics , COVID-19 , COVID-19 Testing , Contact Tracing/economics , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Humans , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control
7.
Biosens Bioelectron ; 171: 112685, 2021 Jan 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-891295

ABSTRACT

The spread of SARS-CoV-2 virus in the ongoing global pandemic has led to infections of millions of people and losses of many lives. The rapid, accurate and convenient SARS-CoV-2 virus detection is crucial for controlling and stopping the pandemic. Diagnosis of patients in the early stage infection are so far limited to viral nucleic acid or antigen detection in human nasopharyngeal swab or saliva samples. Here we developed a method for rapid and direct optical measurement of SARS-CoV-2 virus particles in one step nearly without any sample preparation using a spike protein specific nanoplasmonic resonance sensor. As low as 370 vp/mL were detected in one step within 15 min and the virus concentration can be quantified linearly in the range of 0 to 107 vp/mL. Measurements shown on both generic microplate reader and a handheld smartphone connected device suggest that our low-cost and rapid detection method may be adopted quickly under both regular clinical environment and resource-limited settings.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/isolation & purification , Biosensing Techniques/instrumentation , Clinical Laboratory Techniques , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Point-of-Care Testing , Virion/isolation & purification , Antibodies, Immobilized/chemistry , Biosensing Techniques/economics , COVID-19 , COVID-19 Testing , Clinical Laboratory Techniques/economics , Coronavirus Infections/economics , Equipment Design , Humans , Limit of Detection , Models, Molecular , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/analysis , Time Factors
8.
J Clin Microbiol ; 58(11)2020 10 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-889841

ABSTRACT

Case identification, isolation, and contact tracing are fundamental strategies used to control the spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). This has led to widespread testing that interrupted the supply chain for testing materials around the world. A prospective study was conducted to compare inexpensive and easily sourced 3-dimensionally (3D)-printed polylactic acid and polyester nasopharyngeal swabs to commercially manufactured swabs for the detection of severe acute respiratory syndrome-related coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). During the study period, 287 laboratory-confirmed hospitalized COVID-19 patients, at multiple stages of their illness, were enrolled. The median age for the study population was 47.6 years (interquartile range [IQR], 34.4 to 56.6 years), and two-thirds (67.6%) of the subjects were male. The median duration of hospitalization, at the time of sampling, was 13 days (IQR, 10 to 16 days). Overall concordance between the prototype and control swabs was 80.8% (Cohen's kappa coefficient, 0.61). Most discrepant results were due to prototype-positive control-negative results. When considering all positive results to be true positives, the prototype swab had a higher sensitivity (90.6% versus 80.8%; 95% confidence interval [CI], 85.7% to 94.0% and 74.7% to 85.7%, respectively; P < 0.015). The cost to produce the prototype swab was estimated to be $0.05 per swab. Polylactic acid 3D-printed polyester-tipped swabs were shown to be effective for nasopharyngeal sample collection. We believe that this design can easily be adopted in countries where commercial swabs are not readily available and can play a vital role in public health efforts for disease control in low-income countries.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/isolation & purification , Clinical Laboratory Techniques , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Diagnostic Tests, Routine/instrumentation , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Specimen Handling/instrumentation , Adult , COVID-19 , COVID-19 Testing , Clinical Laboratory Techniques/economics , Coronavirus Infections/economics , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Diagnostic Tests, Routine/economics , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Nasopharynx/virology , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Polyesters , Printing, Three-Dimensional , Reproducibility of Results , SARS-CoV-2 , Sensitivity and Specificity , Specimen Handling/economics
9.
Biosens Bioelectron ; 171: 112715, 2021 Jan 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-866446

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), a newly emerging human infectious disease. Because no specific antiviral drugs or vaccines are available to treat COVID-19, early diagnostics, isolation, and prevention are crucial for containing the outbreak. Molecular diagnostics using reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) are the current gold standard for detection. However, viral RNAs are much less stable during transport and storage than proteins such as antigens and antibodies. Consequently, false-negative RT-PCR results can occur due to inadequate collection of clinical specimens or poor handling of a specimen during testing. Although antigen immunoassays are stable diagnostics for detection of past infection, infection progress, and transmission dynamics, no matched antibody pair for immunoassay of SARS-CoV-2 antigens has yet been reported. In this study, we designed and developed a novel rapid detection method for SARS-CoV-2 spike 1 (S1) protein using the SARS-CoV-2 receptor ACE2, which can form matched pairs with commercially available antibodies. ACE2 and S1-mAb were paired with each other for capture and detection in a lateral flow immunoassay (LFIA) that did not cross-react with SARS-CoV Spike 1 or MERS-CoV Spike 1 protein. The SARS-CoV-2 S1 (<5 ng of recombinant proteins/reaction) was detected by the ACE2-based LFIA. The limit of detection of our ACE2-LFIA was 1.86 × 105 copies/mL in the clinical specimen of COVID-19 Patients without no cross-reactivity for nasal swabs from healthy subjects. This is the first study to detect SARS-CoV-2 S1 antigen using an LFIA with matched pair consisting of ACE2 and antibody. Our findings will be helpful to detect the S1 antigen of SARS-CoV-2 from COVID-19 patients.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/isolation & purification , Biosensing Techniques/instrumentation , Clinical Laboratory Techniques , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A/chemistry , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/analysis , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 , Antibodies, Monoclonal/chemistry , Biosensing Techniques/economics , COVID-19 , COVID-19 Testing , Clinical Laboratory Techniques/economics , Clinical Laboratory Techniques/instrumentation , Coronavirus Infections/economics , Equipment Design , Humans , Immunoassay/economics , Immunoassay/instrumentation , Immunoconjugates/chemistry , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Sensitivity and Specificity , Time Factors
10.
Biosens Bioelectron ; 171: 112709, 2021 Jan 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-838449

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) was classified as a pandemic by the World Health Organization and has caused over 550,000 deaths worldwide as of July 2020. Accurate and scalable point-of-care devices would increase screening, diagnosis, and monitoring of COVID-19 patients. Here, we demonstrate rapid label-free electrochemical detection of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies using a commercially available impedance sensing platform. A 16-well plate containing sensing electrodes was pre-coated with receptor binding domain (RBD) of SARS-CoV-2 spike protein, and subsequently tested with samples of anti-SARS-CoV-2 monoclonal antibody CR3022 (0.1 µg/ml, 1.0 µg/ml, 10 µg/ml). Subsequent blinded testing was performed on six serum specimens taken from COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 patients (1:100 dilution factor). The platform was able to differentiate spikes in impedance measurements from a negative control (1% milk solution) for all CR3022 samples. Further, successful differentiation and detection of all positive clinical samples from negative control was achieved. Measured impedance values were consistent when compared to standard ELISA test results showing a strong correlation between them (R2=0.9). Detection occurs in less than five minutes and the well-based platform provides a simplified and familiar testing interface that can be readily adaptable for use in clinical settings.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/blood , Betacoronavirus/immunology , Biosensing Techniques/instrumentation , Clinical Laboratory Techniques , Coronavirus Infections/blood , Dielectric Spectroscopy/instrumentation , Pneumonia, Viral/blood , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Biosensing Techniques/economics , COVID-19 , COVID-19 Testing , Clinical Laboratory Techniques/economics , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Coronavirus Infections/economics , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Dielectric Spectroscopy/economics , Electric Impedance , Equipment Design , Humans , Immobilized Proteins/immunology , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Pneumonia, Viral/immunology , SARS-CoV-2 , Sensitivity and Specificity , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Time Factors
11.
Biosens Bioelectron ; 170: 112673, 2020 Dec 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-807919

ABSTRACT

Currently the world is being challenged by a public health emergency caused by the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19). Extensive efforts in testing for coronavirus infection, combined with isolating infected cases and quarantining those in contact, have proven successful in bringing the epidemic under control. Rapid and facile screening of this disease is in high demand. This review summarises recent advances in strategies reported by international researchers and engineers concerning how to tackle COVID-19 via rapid testing, mainly through nucleic acid- and antibody- testing. The roles of biosensors as powerful analytical tools are emphasized for the detection of viral RNAs, surface antigens, whole viral particles, antibodies and other potential biomarkers in human specimen. We critically review in depth newly developed biosensing methods especially for in-field and point-of-care detection of SARS-CoV-2. Additionally, this review describes possible future strategies for virus rapid detection. It helps researchers working on novel sensor technologies to tailor their technologies in a way to address the challenge for effective detection of COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/isolation & purification , Biosensing Techniques , Clinical Laboratory Techniques , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Point-of-Care Testing , Animals , Biosensing Techniques/economics , Biosensing Techniques/instrumentation , Biosensing Techniques/methods , COVID-19 , COVID-19 Testing , Clinical Laboratory Techniques/economics , Clinical Laboratory Techniques/instrumentation , Clinical Laboratory Techniques/methods , Coronavirus Infections/economics , Equipment Design , Humans , Pandemics , Point-of-Care Testing/economics , SARS-CoV-2 , Time Factors
12.
PLoS One ; 15(9): e0239492, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-788890

ABSTRACT

Timely diagnosis of COVID-19 infected individuals and their prompt isolation are essential for controlling the transmission of SARS-CoV-2. Though quantitative reverse transcriptase PCR (qRT-PCR) is the method of choice for COVID-19 diagnostics, the resource-intensive and time-consuming nature of the technique impairs its wide applicability in resource-constrained settings and calls for novel strategies to meet the ever-growing demand for more testing. In this context, a pooled sample testing strategy was evaluated in the setting of emerging disease outbreak in 3 central Indian districts to assess if the cost of the test and turn-around time could be reduced without compromising its diagnostic characteristics and thus lead to early containment of the outbreak. From 545 nasopharyngeal and oropharyngeal samples received from the three emerging districts, a total of 109 pools were created with 5 consecutive samples in each pool. The diagnostic performance of qRT-PCR on pooled sample was compared with that of individual samples in a blinded manner. While pooling reduced the cost of diagnosis by 68% and the laboratory processing time by 66%, 5 of the 109 pools showed discordant results when compared with induvial samples. Four pools which tested negative contained 1 positive sample and 1 pool which was positive did not show any positive sample on deconvolution. Presence of a single infected sample with Ct value of 34 or higher, in a pool of 5, was likely to be missed in pooled sample analysis. At the reported point prevalence of 4.8% in this study, the negative predictive value of qRT-PCR on pooled samples was around 96% suggesting that the adoption of this strategy as an effective screening tool for COVID-19 needs to be carefully evaluated.


Subject(s)
Clinical Laboratory Techniques/methods , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Disease Outbreaks/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , COVID-19 Testing , Clinical Laboratory Techniques/economics , Clinical Laboratory Techniques/standards , Coronavirus Infections/economics , Diagnostic Errors/statistics & numerical data , Humans , India , Mass Screening/economics , Mass Screening/methods , Pandemics , Pilot Projects , Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction , SARS-CoV-2 , Specimen Handling/methods , Time Factors
13.
ESMO Open ; 5(5): e000885, 2020 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-788178

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Immunosuppression induced by anticancer therapy in a COVID-19-positive asymptomatic patient with cancer may have a devastating effect and, eventually, be lethal. To identify asymptomatic cases among patients receiving active cancer treatment, the Federico II University Hospital in Naples performs rapid serological tests in addition to hospital standard clinical triage for COVID-19 infection. METHODS: From 6 to 17 April 2020, all candidates for chemotherapy, radiotherapy or target/immunotherapy, if negative at the standard clinical triage on the day scheduled for anticancer treatment, received a rapid serological test on peripheral blood for COVID-19 IgM and IgG detection. In case of COVID-19 IgM and/or IgG positivity, patients underwent a real-time PCR (RT-PCR) SARS-CoV-2 test to confirm infection, and active cancer treatment was delayed. RESULTS: Overall 466 patients, negative for COVID-19 symptoms, underwent serological testing in addition to standard clinical triage. The average age was 61 years (range 25-88 years). Most patients (190, 40.8%) had breast cancer, and chemotherapy with or without immunotherapy was administered in 323 (69.3%) patients. Overall 433 (92.9%) patients were IgG-negative and IgM-negative, and 33 (7.1%) were IgM-positive and/or IgG-positive. Among the latter patients, 18 (3.9%), 11 (2.4%) and 4 (0.9%) were IgM-negative/IgG-positive, IgM-positive/IgG-negative and IgM-positive/IgG-positive, respectively. All 33 patients with a positive serological test, tested negative for RT-PCR SARS-CoV-2 test. No patient in our cohort developed symptoms suggestive of active COVID-19 infection. CONCLUSION: Rapid serological testing at hospital admission failed to detect active asymptomatic COVID-19 infection. Moreover, it entailed additional economic and human resources, delayed therapy administrationand increased hospital accesses.


Subject(s)
Asymptomatic Infections , Clinical Laboratory Techniques/methods , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Neoplasms/therapy , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Triage/standards , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Antineoplastic Agents, Immunological/adverse effects , Betacoronavirus/genetics , Betacoronavirus/immunology , Betacoronavirus/isolation & purification , COVID-19 , COVID-19 Testing , COVID-19 Vaccines , Chemoradiotherapy/adverse effects , Chemoradiotherapy/methods , Clinical Laboratory Techniques/economics , Clinical Laboratory Techniques/statistics & numerical data , Coronavirus Infections/blood , Coronavirus Infections/economics , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Diagnostic Tests, Routine/economics , Diagnostic Tests, Routine/statistics & numerical data , Feasibility Studies , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Neoplasms/immunology , Pandemics , Patient Admission/economics , Patient Admission/statistics & numerical data , Pneumonia, Viral/blood , Pneumonia, Viral/immunology , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Practice Guidelines as Topic , RNA, Viral/isolation & purification , Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction/economics , Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction/statistics & numerical data , SARS-CoV-2 , Sensitivity and Specificity
15.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A ; 117(39): 24450-24458, 2020 09 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-752376

ABSTRACT

The current severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic has had an enormous impact on society worldwide, threatening the lives and livelihoods of many. The effects will continue to grow and worsen if economies begin to open without the proper precautions, including expanded diagnostic capabilities. To address this need for increased testing, we have developed a sensitive reverse-transcription loop-mediated isothermal amplification (RT-LAMP) assay compatible with current reagents, which utilizes a colorimetric readout in as little as 30 min. A rapid inactivation protocol capable of inactivating virions, as well as endogenous nucleases, was optimized to increase sensitivity and sample stability. This protocol, combined with the RT-LAMP assay, has a sensitivity of at least 50 viral RNA copies per microliter in a sample. To further increase the sensitivity, a purification protocol compatible with this inactivation method was developed. The inactivation and purification protocol, combined with the RT-LAMP assay, brings the sensitivity to at least 1 viral RNA copy per microliter in a sample. This simple inactivation and purification pipeline is inexpensive and compatible with other downstream RNA detection platforms and uses readily available reagents. It should increase the availability of SARS-CoV-2 testing as well as expand the settings in which this testing can be performed.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/isolation & purification , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Molecular Diagnostic Techniques/methods , Nucleic Acid Amplification Techniques/methods , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Betacoronavirus/genetics , COVID-19 , COVID-19 Testing , Clinical Laboratory Techniques/economics , Colorimetry , Coronavirus Infections/economics , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Genome, Viral/genetics , Humans , Hydrogen-Ion Concentration , Molecular Diagnostic Techniques/economics , Nucleic Acid Amplification Techniques/economics , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Polyproteins , RNA Stability , RNA, Viral/chemistry , RNA, Viral/genetics , RNA, Viral/isolation & purification , SARS-CoV-2 , Sensitivity and Specificity , Time Factors , Viral Proteins/genetics , Virus Inactivation
16.
CMAJ ; 192(40): E1146-E1155, 2020 10 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-751000

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Testing for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is largely passive, which impedes epidemic control. We defined active testing strategies for SARS-CoV-2 using reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) for groups at increased risk of acquiring SARS-CoV-2 in all Canadian provinces. METHODS: We identified 5 groups who should be prioritized for active RT-PCR testing: contacts of people who are positive for SARS-CoV-2, and 4 at-risk populations - hospital employees, community health care workers and people in long-term care facilities, essential business employees, and schoolchildren and staff. We estimated costs, human resources and laboratory capacity required to test people in each group or to perform surveillance testing in random samples. RESULTS: During July 8-17, 2020, across all provinces in Canada, an average of 41 751 RT-PCR tests were performed daily; we estimated this required 5122 personnel and cost $2.4 million per day ($67.8 million per month). Systematic contact tracing and testing would increase personnel needs 1.2-fold and monthly costs to $78.9 million. Conducted over a month, testing all hospital employees would require 1823 additional personnel, costing $29.0 million; testing all community health care workers and persons in long-term care facilities would require 11 074 additional personnel and cost $124.8 million; and testing all essential employees would cost $321.7 million, requiring 25 965 added personnel. Testing the larger population within schools over 6 weeks would require 46 368 added personnel and cost $816.0 million. Interventions addressing inefficiencies, including saliva-based sampling and pooling samples, could reduce costs by 40% and personnel by 20%. Surveillance testing in population samples other than contacts would cost 5% of the cost of a universal approach to testing at-risk populations. INTERPRETATION: Active testing of groups at increased risk of acquiring SARS-CoV-2 appears feasible and would support the safe reopening of the economy and schools more broadly. This strategy also appears affordable compared with the $169.2 billion committed by the federal government as a response to the pandemic as of June 2020.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/isolation & purification , Clinical Laboratory Techniques/economics , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Coronavirus Infections/economics , Mass Screening/economics , Pandemics/economics , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Pneumonia, Viral/economics , COVID-19 , COVID-19 Testing , Canada , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Humans , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction/economics , Risk Assessment/economics , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2
17.
Drug Discov Ther ; 14(4): 153-160, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-745655

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 infection has been a matter of urgency to tackle around the world today, there exist 200 countries around the world and 54 countries in Africa that the COVID-19 infection cases have been confirmed. This situation prompted us to look into the challenges African laboratories are facing in the diagnosis of novel COVID-19 infection. A limited supply of essential laboratory equipment and test kits are some of the challenges faced in combatting the novel virus in Africa. Also, there is inadequate skilled personnel, which might pose a significant danger in case there is a surge in COVID-19 infection cases. The choice of diagnostic method in Africa is limited as there are only two available diagnostic methods being used out of the six methods used globally, thereby reducing the opportunity of supplementary diagnosis, which will further lead to inappropriate diagnosis and affect the accuracy of diagnostic reports. Furthermore, challenges like inadequate power supply, the method used in sample collection, storage and transportation of specimens are also significant as they also pose their respective implication. From the observations, there is an urgent need for more investment into the laboratories for proper, timely, and accurate diagnosis of COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/isolation & purification , Clinical Laboratory Techniques , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Health Services Accessibility/organization & administration , Health Services Needs and Demand/organization & administration , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Virology/organization & administration , Betacoronavirus/pathogenicity , Budgets , COVID-19 , COVID-19 Testing , Clinical Laboratory Techniques/economics , Coronavirus Infections/economics , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Health Care Costs , Health Services Accessibility/economics , Health Services Needs and Demand/economics , Humans , Nigeria/epidemiology , Pandemics/economics , Pneumonia, Viral/economics , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Predictive Value of Tests , Reproducibility of Results , SARS-CoV-2 , Viral Load , Virology/economics , Workflow
20.
BMJ Open ; 10(8): e038017, 2020 08 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-721204

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: To compare National Health Service (NHS) organisations' testing pathways for patients with suspected COVID-19 in the community versus standard hospital testing practices. PERSPECTIVE: NHS commissioners and services. METHODS: During the containment phase of the COVID-19 pandemic we developed a community model pathway for COVID-19 testing in Wales with testing teams undertaking swabbing for COVID-19 in individuals' usual place of residence. We undertook a cost-minimisation analysis comparing the costs to the NHS in Wales of community testing for COVID-19 versus standard hospital testing practices and ambulance conveyancing. We analysed data from patients with suspected COVID-19 between January and February 2020 and applied assumptions of costs from national contractual and reference costs for ambulances, staffing and transportation with market costs at the time of publication. RESULTS: 177 patients with suspected COVID-19 underwent community testing via local NHS organisations between January and February 2020 with a mean age of 46.1 (IQR 27.5-56.3). This was 92% of total patients who were tested for COVID-19 during this period. We estimate, compared with standard hospital testing practices, cash savings in improved productivity for the NHS of £24,539 during this time period, in addition to further non-monetised benefits for hospital and ambulance flow. CONCLUSIONS: Community testing for COVID-19 in Wales is now an established pathway and continues to bring benefits for patients, local healthcare organisations and the NHS. Further application of this model in other settings and to other infectious diseases may herald promising returns.


Subject(s)
Clinical Laboratory Techniques/economics , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Coronavirus Infections/economics , Critical Pathways/economics , Pandemics/economics , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Pneumonia, Viral/economics , State Medicine/economics , Adult , Ambulances/economics , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , COVID-19 Testing , Cost-Benefit Analysis , Humans , Middle Aged , SARS-CoV-2 , Wales
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