Using 'pooled' samples for COVID-19 testing can be cheaper, effective

© Provided by Daily Mail MailOnline logo

So-called ‘pooled testing’ of samples for COVID-19 instead of individually evaluating them can be faster, cheaper and just as accurate, a new study finds.

Researchers from Olivet Nazarene University in Bourbonnais, Illinois, evaluated the effectiveness of pooled testing among the school’s residential population. 

Pool testing is when eight to ten saliva samples from multiple people are combined, and tested as a whole for COVID-19. 

If the virus is not detected in the pooled sample, each person is cleared as negative.

If the sample does test positive, the individual samples from each member are tested individually to find which ones are infected.

The team found that pool testing surpasses the general standard for accuracy and cost only 43 cents per test administered – cheaper than running ‘gold standard’ PCR tests one at a time. 

© Provided by Daily Mail Pooling COVID-19 testing samples together instead of testing them individually can be more efficient, cheaper and just as effective, a new study finds. Pictured: A Northridge, California, student receives a COVID-19 test on August 11
© Provided by Daily Mail Pooled testing is when samples from multiple people are combined and tested at once, such as 10 at a time If the virus is not detected in the pooled sample (blue), each person is cleared as negative. If the sample does test positive (red), the individual samples from each member are tested individually

‘Our study demonstrates a significant step forward for achieving rapid test results on a large scale, while preserving supplies and reducing costs,’ said Dr Daniel Sharda, lead author of the study and the chair of biological sciences at Olivet, in a statement.

Researchers, who published their findings in the journal Microbiology Spectrum on Wednesday, classified students who lived on campus during the Spring 2021 semester into two groups.

Students who regularly took part in on-campus group activities were required to submit two saliva samples for testing every week while the other group submitted one sample per week.

In total, 43,884 samples were collected during the study period.

Pool testing was performed on the samples, which has the ability to detect the virus at very low load levels, and an estimated 83 percent of positive cases were detected through this measures. 

This is about as accurate as nasal swabs that are tested individually, taking about two or three days to return results.

Of the cases found through pool testing, 36.2 percent were asymptomatic and 48.3 percent experienced mild symptoms.

Researchers also estimated that more than 80 percent of students would not have gotten tested regularly of their own accord. 

With so many asymptomatic cases and limited testing, researchers believe the school would have suffered severe Covid outbreaks without the widespread testing strategy.

Testing students this way allowed for testing to be cheaper, and faster as in the time it takes to run a test on one sample, scientists could instead test ten.

While testing is widely available, a college could still have some trouble acquiring enough tests to use on thousands of students.

Access to testing was also an issue early in the pandemic, as there was nowhere near enough supply to meet the rising demand for Covid tests, leading to many cases going undetected. 

© Provided by Daily Mail
© Provided by Daily Mail

Pooling testing can help alleviate shortages and make more efficient use of limited resources. 

‘Future pandemics should use pooled strategies from the very beginning, when tests are otherwise limited,’ said Sharda.

Pooling tests is a strategy being used by more schools around the nation as officials hope to keep kids in school safely.

Sharda believes that implementing these strategies in schools and other areas where people gather – especially were resources may be limited – are key to keeping people together in times of crisis.

‘We also recognized that our campus is an integral part of our local community, so our cases would surely spread off-campus and possibly reach more vulnerable individuals. We felt an obligation to our local community to do better,’ said Sharda. 

‘Our pooled saliva approach puts routine COVID-19 testing within reach for smaller organizations and countries where resources are limited.’ 

© Provided by Daily Mail

Internet Explorer Channel Network
News Related

OTHER NEWS

Goldman Sachs gets regulator nod for full ownership of China securities JV

(Reuters) – Goldman Sachs said on Sunday it received an approval from China’s securities regulator to take full control of its mainland securities business. © Reuters/David Gray The logo of ... Read more »

Melbourne Cup winner Gai Waterhouse hits out at jumps racing move, joins Oakbank Racing Club

Decorated horse trainer Gai Waterhouse has lashed critics of jumps racing as she pushes to overturn a decision to scrap the controversial practice in South Australia, insisting that horses “love to do ... Read more »

Restrictions remain in Tasmania despite lockdown exit this evening

Tasmania’s lockdown for the 12 LGAs in the state’s south will end at 6pm tonight, Premier Peter Gutwein has announced. Mask wearing will still be mandatory both indoors and outdoors ... Read more »

Queensland police officer Robert Eickenloff in court after allegedly helping daughter in COVID-19 border breach

A south-east Queensland police officer accused of helping his daughter breach the state’s COVID-19 border restrictions has appeared in court. Senior Constable Robert William Eickenloff was charged with misconduct in public ... Read more »

Georgia Love and Lee Elliott's milestone

© Provided by Are Media Pty Ltd Georgia Love and Lee Elliott have celebrated one of their biggest milestones to date – buying their first home together! The happy couple ... Read more »

$54.5m for Vic business outdoor trading

© Erik Anderson/AAP PHOTOS Melbourne’s pubs can open for 20 fully vaccinated customers indoors, and 50 outdoors, from Friday. Businesses and councils can apply for a share in a $54.5 ... Read more »

S. Korea, Sweden to hold forum on joint responses to illegal fishing

SEOUL, Oct. 18 (Yonhap) — Around 100 South Korean and Swedish maritime officials and experts will gather this week for a forum to explore ways to curb illegal fishing, South ... Read more »

Psychologist reveals breathing method she swears by for stress relief

© Provided by Daily Mail MailOnline logo A clinical psychologist has offered her simple breathing technique that will ease anxiety and soothe your mind in just minutes. Gabby Goodier, from ... Read more »

Selena Gomez's private email to Facebook executives about misinformation and hateful content released

A private email Selena Gomez reportedly sent Facebook executives last year in an attempt to eliminate hateful content on the site has been obtained by the Wall Street Journal.  According ... Read more »

Jasmine Yarbrough spends quality time with daughter Harper

© Provided by Daily Mail MailOnline logo She’s been dragged into Lisa Wilkinson’s criticisms of her husband Karl Stefanovic in her new autobiography, It Wasn’t Meant to Be Like This. But Jasmine Yarbrough ... Read more »

Kourtney Kardashian reportedly freaked out on flight after Travis Barker lost his phone

Kourtney Kardashian has been accused of acting “quite bratty” while on a recent business class flight with her beau Travis Barker. The pair were reportedly getting ready to take off ... Read more »

Aboriginal bush trackers have arrived to help find missing Cleo

© Provided by Daily Mail MailOnline logo Cleo Smith’s family have brought in local Aboriginal bush trackers to help find the four-year-old after she disappeared from a campsite in the ... Read more »

The 14 Best Beach Bags To Shop For An Australian Summer

© Provided by Are Media Pty Ltd We’ve rounded up the best beach bags to shop this Australian summer. While in the Northern Hemisphere, the arrival of the festive season ... Read more »

Inside the Nats partyroom: the politicians holding Australia's climate policy to ransom

The Nationals spent four hours yesterday in a tense meeting over whether to support a largely inadequate target of net zero emissions by 2050. They reached no agreement. Four hours ... Read more »

Australia reacts to news NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet

© Provided by Daily Mail MailOnline logo Social media has gone into meltdown with the news that Australia’s newest state leader will become a father for the seventh time. NSW Premier ... Read more »

Charlene's new look sparks concern

© Provided by Are Media Pty Ltd Princess Charlene of Monaco has shared a new photo from her extended stay in South Africa, but her appearance has left fans concerned. ... Read more »

Australia's UK trade deal could see an influx of British workers to fill pandemic labour shortages

© Provided by Business Insider Australia Australia’s Trade Minister Dan Tehan has indicated changes to the working holiday visa as part of the country’s new tree-trade deal with the UK. ... Read more »

BOM forecasts Queensland could experience another week of 'unsettled' weather with severe thunderstorms, large hail

© Provided by ABC News Clouds over Wreck Point before a storm rolled into Yeppoon this morning. (Supplied: Laura Lubans-Bates) Parts of Queensland are bracing for another week of “unsettled” ... Read more »

Organ transplant: Eliza the 1920s theatre organ going home to Capitol

Her name is Eliza, she’s a Wurlitzer theatre organ and can handle a blues standard, a disco tune or a Broadway show-stopper with equal panache. © Paul Jeffers Theatre Organ ... Read more »

More than 94,000 WA children living in poverty, report finds, sparking calls for early intervention

© Provided by ABC NEWS Olivia Lawrence first visited a Child and Parent Centre with her children about five years ago. (ABC News: Keane Bourke) Olivia Lawrence’s son Trey wasn’t ... Read more »

Barrier Truth goes gonzo … the blokes behind the hoax … Leunig loses his spot

Top Marx Interesting times at Broken Hill’s the Barrier Daily Truth. Via Jack Marx’s Facebook page: © Provided by Crikey There’s a job for a journalist going at the Barrier ... Read more »

Two men stabbed at Melbourne shopping hub

A supermarket customer and security guard have been stabbed inside a Melbourne shopping centre, with police tasering the alleged attacker. © Daniel Pockett/AAP PHOTOS A man is in custody after ... Read more »

Liam Cooper worries for Brooke Blurton

© Provided by Are Media Pty Ltd Liam Cooper made history on this year when he became the first openly bisexual groom to star on Married at First Sight. Now, ... Read more »

(LEAD) S. Korea to tackle U.S. info-sharing request on chipmakers: minister

(ATTN: UPDATES with more details in last para; CHANGES headline) SEOUL, Oct. 18 (Yonhap) — South Korean Finance Minister Hong Nam-ki said Monday the country plans to closely cooperate with ... Read more »

EA Sports braces for FIFA breakup

FIFA is seeking more than double what it currently receives from EA Sports, which could increase its payout from the series to over $1 billion for each four-year World Cup ... Read more »

Selena Gomez Admits That Her Decision To Quit Social Media Helped To ‘Save Her Life'

© Provided by Are Media Pty Ltd It’s a well known fact that social media has become toxic when it comes to mental health. From the unhealthy comparisons to peers ... Read more »

A bright weatherboard weekender dressed up for the festive season

© Provided by Are Media Pty Ltd This bright and breezy weekender on Sydney’s Northern Beaches is where Anthony Spon-Smith and his family will spend together time for Christmas. Raucous ... Read more »

Facebook to hire 10,000 people in EU to build 'metaverse'

Attendees walk past a Facebook logo during Facebook’s F8 developer conference in San Jose, Calif., April 30, 2019. Facebook on Monday announced plans to hire 10,000 people in the European ... Read more »

Why you REALLY need to include the right amount of fats in your diet

© Provided by Daily Mail MailOnline logo An Australian nutritionist has revealed why it’s essential to include fats in your diet to maintain optimum health. Rebecca Gawthorne, from Sydney, said ... Read more »

Qld cop in court over NSW border breach

A Queensland police officer accused of helping sneak his daughter across the NSW border while on duty has faced court for the first time. © Dan Peled/AAP PHOTOS A Queensland ... Read more »

Zendaya Just Debuted The Haircut Of The Season During Her Latest Red Carpet Outing

© Provided by Are Media Pty Ltd Zendaya brought high fashion to the films London premiere. The Dune press circuit is the gift that keeps on giving. Whilst the Australian ... Read more »

Mayor and community elder to appear at IBAC hearings

The mayor of a council in Melbourne’s north-east and a respected community elder will be questioned at public anti-corruption commission hearings this week as part of a major corruption inquiry ... Read more »

‘Definitely a relief': Preps back in school after 74-day absence

Tens of thousands of Melbourne prep students have returned to school this morning after a 74-day absence, in a staged return to face-to-face learning that has been fast-tracked to account ... Read more »

Australia locked out the world. Now it's returning the favour

Through the rigours of COVID-19 lockdowns and lockouts, Australia’s psyche has lurched, shifting the outside world from opportunity to threat — and Australia’s political elite are eager to mine the ... Read more »

Tas three-day lockdown to end on time

Hobart and southern Tasmania are exiting a snap lockdown as scheduled, but some extra precautionary COVID-19 restrictions will remain. © Rob Blakers/AAP PHOTOS A three-day lockdown in southern Tasmania will ... Read more »

Georgia Love and Lee Elliott celebrate milestone

© Provided by Are Media Pty Ltd Georgia Love and Lee Elliott have celebrated one of their biggest milestones to date – buying their first home together! The happy couple ... Read more »

Outrage over calls for Aussie cartoon series Bluey to be Americanised

© Provided by Daily Mail MailOnline logo Children’s cartoon series Bluey is one of Australia’s most successful TV exports, with viewers in more than 60 countries around the world. But Aussie fans ... Read more »

James Stewart's family beach day pics

© Provided by Are Media Pty Ltd The often private Home and Away star James Stewart has celebrated his first weekend out of lockdown with his wife Sarah Roberts, and ... Read more »

Aqua English program helps refugees overcome trauma and learn to swim

© Provided by ABC News Sarah Scarce has run the Aqua English program in Brisbane for 15 years. (ABC Radio Brisbane: Edwina Seselja) When Manahil Hassan Hamuda sees water, she ... Read more »

Inside Ada Nicodemou's close family bonds

© Provided by Are Media Pty Ltd Ada Nicodemou is an iconic actor, mother, daughter, sister and sister-in-law. Her devotion to her family is evident, but do you know who ... Read more »