OCT 13, 2021 4:30 PM PDT

New Diagnostic Tools to Fight the Pandemic - Screening and Syndromic Testing

Presented at: Coronavirus Series
Sponsored by: PerkinElmer
C.E. Credits: P.A.C.E. CE Florida CE


As the pandemic continues to evolve, new tools are needed to fight it. The greatest needs revolve around the ability to screen asymptomatic individuals for COVID-19 and to simultaneously test for COVID-19, Influenza, and RSV. 
Like diagnostic testing, screening for SARS-CoV-2 identifies infected individuals – however, screening tests are used when there is no reason to suspect infection. This includes screening of asymptomatic individuals without known exposure to the virus, but where there is a need to make decisions based on the results. Examples include screening in schools, places of business and high-risk environments, including aged care facilities, airports, and tradeshows.
According to experts, a highly sensitive RT-PCR test should be used for screening asymptomatic individuals without known exposure to SARS-CoV-2. This is critical to ensure the accuracy of testing as a 10-fold increase in LOD can increase false negative rate by 13%. Additionally, the ability to pool samples from asymptomatic individuals enables cost-effective testing. For accurate detection in pooled samples, a very sensitive RT-PCR assay is needed. 
As SARS-CoV-2 disease restrictions are being lifted, other respiratory diseases which were depressed due to social distancing are expected to return. Laboratories that routinely test for COVID-19 have been advised to consider a multiplex assay that can simultaneously detect multiple respiratory disease-causing pathogens. PerkinElmer’s PKamp™ Respiratory SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR Panel enables detection and differentiation between SARS-CoV-2, influenza A, influenza B, and respiratory syncytial viruses using a single test, thereby helping labs manage potential surge in testing demand during the flu season.

Learning Objectives:

1. Discuss the difference between diagnostic testing and screening.

2. Discuss the limit of detection important in screening.

3. Explain how can syndromic respiratory disease panels help in the coming months.

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