Use of emerging testing technologies and approaches for SARS-CoV-2: review of literature and global experience in an Australian context
AuthorGraham, M; Ballard, SA; Pasricha, S; Lin, B; Hoang, T; Stinear, T; Druce, J; Catton, M; Sherry, N; Williamson, D; ...
University of Melbourne Author/sStinear, Timothy; Pasricha, Shivani; Williamson, Deborah; Sherry, Norelle; Graham, Maryza
AffiliationMicrobiology and Immunology
Document TypeJournal Article
CitationsGraham, M., Ballard, S. A., Pasricha, S., Lin, B., Hoang, T., Stinear, T., Druce, J., Catton, M., Sherry, N., Williamson, D. & Howden, B. P. (2021). Use of emerging testing technologies and approaches for SARS-CoV-2: review of literature and global experience in an Australian context. PATHOLOGY, 53 (6), pp.689-699. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pathol.2021.08.001.
Access StatusAccess this item via the Open Access location
Open Access URLPublished version
Emerging testing technologies for detection of SARS-CoV-2 include those that are rapid and can be used at point-of-care (POC), and those facilitating high throughput laboratory-based testing. Tests designed to be performed at POC (such as antigen tests and molecular assays) have the potential to expedite isolation of infectious patients and their contacts, but most are less sensitive than standard-of-care reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). Data on clinical performance of the majority of emerging assays are limited with most evaluations performed on contrived or stored laboratory samples. Further evaluations of these assays are required, particularly when performed at POC on symptomatic and asymptomatic patients and at various time-points after symptom onset. A few studies have so far shown several of these assays have high specificity. However, large prospective evaluations are needed to confirm specificity, particularly before the assays are implemented in low prevalence settings or asymptomatic populations. High throughput laboratory-based testing includes the use of new sample types (e.g., saliva to increase acceptability) or innovative uses of existing technology (e.g., sample pooling). Information detailing population-wide testing strategies for SARS-COV-2 is largely missing from peer-reviewed literature. Logistics and supply chains are key considerations in any plan to 'scale up' testing in the Australian context. The strategic use of novel assays will help strike the balance between achieving adequate test numbers without overwhelming laboratory capacity. To protect testing of high-risk populations, the aims of testing with respect to the phase of the pandemic must be considered.
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