Highlights from SYNLAB Germany | Protection against COVID-19 at work: SYNLAB introduces new PCR pooling test method for companies
DGAP-News: SYNLAB AG
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SYNLAB Holding Germany GmbH
SYNLAB, the largest European clinical laboratory and medical diagnostic services provider, recommends the significant expansion of PCR testing at workplaces using the pooling method. Especially in view of the spread of more contagious virus variants, those people for whom working from home is not possible, should be protected by reliable and regular testing.
The necessary methods, capacities and infrastructure have been developed and expanded over the past year. Especially in the context of occupational medicine, the use of the efficient pooling method offers the possibility of carrying out regular PCR tests at the workplace. In this process, material from individual samples is pooled and tested together via PCR. If the overall result is negative, all samples are negative. If the result is positive, each sample in the pool is tested individually to identify positive samples. For the highest possible accuracy in pooling, SYNLAB has developed a new 7-pool method, which - unlike conventional pooling methods - has almost identical sensitivity and specificity as a single PCR test. Patients usually receive their results within 24 hours.
Dr Hans-Wolfgang Schultis, Medical Director of SYNLAB Weiden, Germany, and co-developer of the 7-pool method, is convinced of the widespread use of the pooling method: "In view of the high infection rates and virus variants, it is important to carry out regular PCR tests wherever people are in close and regular contact with each other, despite lockdown and restrictions. This is often the case in the workplace. Pooling is generally an efficient method to detect and stop infection chains at an early stage. With our new 7-pool method, we also create a particularly high sensitivity and specificity for the pooling method. Our experience so far has shown that employers as well as employees appreciate this additional protective measure and that large infection outbreaks have already several times been prevented early on through regular, accurate testing. In addition, the application of this screening method is simple in everyday work. "
The pooling method is specifically suitable for regular testing of asymptomatic groups of people, for example in manufacturing companies or closed office spaces. In this context, the vast majority of test results are usually negative, which makes the pooling method particularly efficient. In addition, the logistical requirements are fulfilled to pool samples from people in contact with each other and to quickly detect possible outbreaks of infection.
The pooling method also bypasses the central weak point of rapid antigen tests: it has now been scientifically proven that the use of rapid antigen tests is unsuitable for selective testing of asymptomatic persons. Various international studies as well as SYNLAB's own study show that about 40 percent of infected persons are not detected as virus carriers by rapid antigen tests. This is because rapid antigen tests often only detect infected people with a high viral load, whereas even a low viral load can be enough to infect other people. Accordingly, the much more accurate PCR tests are still the significantly safer and medically more appropriate method to ensure preventive protection.
For individuals in the context of medical diagnostics, especially for symptomatic or suspected individuals, the conventional PCR test is still the gold standard in terms of sensitivity and specificity. Normally, individuals can book appointments for sampling conveniently and promptly and usually receive their results via app within 24 hours.
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03.05.2021 Dissemination of a Corporate News, transmitted by DGAP - a service of EQS Group AG.
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