Pooled surveillance testing for asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infections at a Veterinary Teaching Hospital College, University of Minnesota, December 2020–April 2021

Janice Mladonicky, Addisalem Bedada, Colin Yoder, Kimberly VanderWaal, Jerry Torrison, Scott J. Wells

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

To evaluate the use of asymptomatic surveillance, we implemented a surveillance program for asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection in a voluntary sample of individuals at the College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Minnesota. Self-collected anterior nasal samples were tested using real time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), in a 5:1 pooled testing strategy, twice weekly for 18 weeks. Positive pools were deconvoluted into individual tests, revealing an observed prevalence of 0.07% (3/4,525). Pooled testing allowed for large scale testing with an estimated cost savings of 79.3% and modeling demonstrated this testing strategy prevented up to 2 workplace transmission events, averting up to 4 clinical cases. At the study endpoint, antibody testing revealed 80.7% of participants had detectable vaccine antibody levels while 9.6% of participants had detectable antibodies to natural infection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number879107
JournalFrontiers in Public Health
Volume10
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 5 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding was provided by the University of Minnesota Medical School, Office of the Vice Dean for Research.

Funding Information:
The authors would like to acknowledge the students, staff, and faculty at the University of Minnesota who participated in this study; the veterinary student team who provided logistical support (McKayla Carlson, Grace Miller, Lindsay Miller, Kim Nguyen, Michael Streitz); Devi Patnayak and others at the University of Minnesota Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory for providing laboratory support; the University of Minnesota Genomics Center and Quansys Biosciences for testing of samples; Jeff Bender, Sandra Godden, and Craig Hedberg for technical guidance and manuscript review; and the University of Minnesota Hospital Management Team for providing facility support.

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2022 Mladonicky, Bedada, Yoder, VanderWaal, Torrison and Wells.

Keywords

  • COVID-19
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • cost effective
  • pooled testing
  • serology
  • surveillance
  • veterinary medicine

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

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