Mass Testing Made Simple
60 FOR 1 WITH SIMULTANEOUS TESTING POOLS
Early on, as the world faced the horror of the COVID-19 pandemic, the need for widespread testing became clear as a game-breaking strategy in tracking and containing clusters of the virus. Technion and Rambam HCC scientists rose to the challenge and came up with a method to increase the COVID-19 testing capacity. The trial of the method was completed within four days.
According to Prof. Roy Kishony of the Faculty of Biology and head of the research team, the method pools multiple samples in a single test tube. They are screened using the normal PCR testing procedure, which takes several hours.
According to Dr. Yuval Gefen, director of the Rambam Clinical Microbiology Laboratory, “with the pooling approach we have currently tested, molecular testing can be performed on a combined sample from 32 or 64 patients. This way we can significantly accelerate the testing rate. Only in those rare cases, where the joint sample is found to be positive, will we conduct an individual test for each of the specific samples.”