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Results of WICOVIR Gargle Pool PCR Testing in German Schools Based on the First 100,000 Tests.
Kheiroddin, Parastoo; Schöberl, Patricia; Althammer, Michael; Cibali, Ezgi; Würfel, Thea; Wein, Hannah; Kulawik, Birgit; Buntrock-Döpke, Heike; Weigl, Eva; Gran, Silvia; Gründl, Magdalena; Langguth, Jana; Lampl, Benedikt; Judex, Guido; Niggel, Jakob; Pagel, Philipp; Schratzenstaller, Thomas; Schneider-Brachert, Wulf; Gastiger, Susanne; Bodenschatz, Mona; Konrad, Maike; Levchuk, Artem; Roth, Cornelius; Schöner, David; Schneebauer, Florian; Rohrmanstorfer, René; Dekens, Marcus P; Brandstetter, Susanne; Zuber, Johannes; Wallerstorfer, Daniel; Burkovski, Andreas; Ambrosch, Andreas; Wagner, Thomas; Kabesch, Michael.
  • Kheiroddin P; Department of Pediatric Pneumology and Allergy, University Children's Hospital Regensburg (KUNO) at the Hospital St. Hedwig of the Order of St. John and the University of Regensburg, Regensburg, Germany.
  • Schöberl P; Department of Pediatric Pneumology and Allergy, University Children's Hospital Regensburg (KUNO) at the Hospital St. Hedwig of the Order of St. John and the University of Regensburg, Regensburg, Germany.
  • Althammer M; Science and Innovation Campus Regensburg (WECARE) at the Hospital St. Hedwig of the Order of St. John, Regensburg, Germany.
  • Cibali E; Department of Pediatric Pneumology and Allergy, University Children's Hospital Regensburg (KUNO) at the Hospital St. Hedwig of the Order of St. John and the University of Regensburg, Regensburg, Germany.
  • Würfel T; Department of Pediatric Pneumology and Allergy, University Children's Hospital Regensburg (KUNO) at the Hospital St. Hedwig of the Order of St. John and the University of Regensburg, Regensburg, Germany.
  • Wein H; Institute of Laboratory Medicine, Microbiology and Hygiene, Hospital of the Order of St. John, Regensburg, Germany.
  • Kulawik B; Department of Pediatric Pneumology and Allergy, University Children's Hospital Regensburg (KUNO) at the Hospital St. Hedwig of the Order of St. John and the University of Regensburg, Regensburg, Germany.
  • Buntrock-Döpke H; Department of Pediatric Pneumology and Allergy, University Children's Hospital Regensburg (KUNO) at the Hospital St. Hedwig of the Order of St. John and the University of Regensburg, Regensburg, Germany.
  • Weigl E; Department of Pediatric Pneumology and Allergy, University Children's Hospital Regensburg (KUNO) at the Hospital St. Hedwig of the Order of St. John and the University of Regensburg, Regensburg, Germany.
  • Gran S; Science and Innovation Campus Regensburg (WECARE) at the Hospital St. Hedwig of the Order of St. John, Regensburg, Germany.
  • Gründl M; Department of Pediatric Pneumology and Allergy, University Children's Hospital Regensburg (KUNO) at the Hospital St. Hedwig of the Order of St. John and the University of Regensburg, Regensburg, Germany.
  • Langguth J; Science and Innovation Campus Regensburg (WECARE) at the Hospital St. Hedwig of the Order of St. John, Regensburg, Germany.
  • Lampl B; Department of Pediatric Pneumology and Allergy, University Children's Hospital Regensburg (KUNO) at the Hospital St. Hedwig of the Order of St. John and the University of Regensburg, Regensburg, Germany.
  • Judex G; Science and Innovation Campus Regensburg (WECARE) at the Hospital St. Hedwig of the Order of St. John, Regensburg, Germany.
  • Niggel J; Department of Pediatric Pneumology and Allergy, University Children's Hospital Regensburg (KUNO) at the Hospital St. Hedwig of the Order of St. John and the University of Regensburg, Regensburg, Germany.
  • Pagel P; Science and Innovation Campus Regensburg (WECARE) at the Hospital St. Hedwig of the Order of St. John, Regensburg, Germany.
  • Schratzenstaller T; Public Health Institute Cham, Cham, Germany.
  • Schneider-Brachert W; Public Health Department Regensburg, Regensburg, Germany.
  • Gastiger S; Public Health Department Regensburg, Regensburg, Germany.
  • Bodenschatz M; Pediatric Office Judex, Regensburg, Germany.
  • Konrad M; Maganamed Limited, Regensburg, Germany.
  • Levchuk A; Maganamed Limited, Regensburg, Germany.
  • Roth C; Medical Device Lab, Ostbayerische Technische Hochschule Regensburg, Regensburg, Germany.
  • Schöner D; Regensburg Center for Biomedical Engineering, University and OTH Regensburg, Regensburg, Germany.
  • Schneebauer F; Department of Infection Prevention and Infectious Diseases, University Hospital Regensburg, Regensburg, Germany.
  • Rohrmanstorfer R; Microbiology Division, Department of Biology, Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Erlangen, Germany.
  • Dekens MP; Microbiology Division, Department of Biology, Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Erlangen, Germany.
  • Brandstetter S; Microbiology Division, Department of Biology, Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Erlangen, Germany.
  • Zuber J; Microbiology Division, Department of Biology, Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Erlangen, Germany.
  • Wallerstorfer D; Microbiology Division, Department of Biology, Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Erlangen, Germany.
  • Burkovski A; DATEV eG, Nürnberg, Germany.
  • Ambrosch A; DATEV eG, Nürnberg, Germany.
  • Wagner T; NOVOGENIA Limited, Eugendorf, Austria.
  • Kabesch M; NOVOGENIA Limited, Eugendorf, Austria.
Front Pediatr ; 9: 721518, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1518517
ABSTRACT

Background:

Opening schools and keeping children safe from SARS-CoV-2 infections at the same time is urgently needed to protect children from direct and indirect consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic. To achieve this goal, a safe, efficient, and cost-effective SARS-CoV-2 testing system for schools in addition to standard hygiene measures is necessary.

Methods:

We implemented the screening WICOVIR concept for schools in the southeast of Germany, which is based on gargling at home, pooling of samples in schools, and assessment of SARS-CoV-2 by pool rRT-PCR, performed decentralized in numerous participating laboratories. Depooling was performed if pools were positive, and results were transmitted with software specifically developed for the project within a day. Here, we report the results after the first 13 weeks in the project.

Findings:

We developed and implemented the proof-of-concept test system within a pilot phase of 7 weeks based on almost 17,000 participants. After 6 weeks in the main phase of the project, we performed >100,000 tests in total, analyzed in 7,896 pools, identifying 19 cases in >100 participating schools. On average, positive children showed an individual CT value of 31 when identified in the pools. Up to 30 samples were pooled (mean 13) in general, based on school classes and attached school staff. All three participating laboratories detected positive samples reliably with their previously established rRT-PCR standard protocols. When self-administered antigen tests were performed concomitantly in positive cases, only one of these eight tests was positive, and when antigen tests performed after positive pool rRT-PCR results were already known were included, 3 out of 11 truly positive tests were also identified by antigen testing. After 3 weeks of repetitive WICOVIR testing twice weekly, the detection rate of positive children in that cohort decreased significantly from 0.042 to 0.012 (p = 0.008).

Interpretation:

Repeated gargle pool rRT-PCR testing can be implemented quickly in schools. It is an effective, valid, and well-received test system for schools, superior to antigen tests in sensitivity, acceptance, and costs.
Keywords

Full text: Available Collection: International databases Database: MEDLINE Type of study: Prognostic study Language: English Journal: Front Pediatr Year: 2021 Document Type: Article Affiliation country: Fped.2021.721518

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Full text: Available Collection: International databases Database: MEDLINE Type of study: Prognostic study Language: English Journal: Front Pediatr Year: 2021 Document Type: Article Affiliation country: Fped.2021.721518