Testing Technology Trends

Information for navigating COVID-19 with testing.

Given the unparalleled threats and uncertainty brought on by COVID-19, sharing information is more important than ever. Here you’ll gain insights, knowledge and strategies to help you navigate the challenges, improve decision-making and take control of your workplace and your life.

Rack of test tubes

Viral load and Ct values – How do we use quantitative PCR quantitatively?

Viral load impacts disease severity, and most COVID-19 testing identifies it, but this data rarely gets reported. This blog explains why and looks at some challenges in sharing viral load test results with clinicians and epidemiologists.

Dog nose and fur

COVID-19 testing: Going to the dogs?

You may not be feeling sick as a dog, but if you’ve been infected with COVID-19, there’s a good chance a dog would sniff it out.

Virus and world map

SARS-CoV-2 diagnostics: A moving target

Variants, vaccination and testing: Factor all three into COVID-19 diagnostics, and things get complicated. Variants have the potential to impact the accuracy of some tests, while vaccination raises the possibility of false positives.

Virus green

All eyes on Israel and Brazil

Which COVID-19 strains are most worrisome? Can they re-infect people who’ve already recovered from one bout of the virus? Do mutations threaten to derail our testing strategies, treatment protocols and vaccine effectiveness?

COVID-19 organism

How worried should we be about newly emerging strains of SARS CoV2?

Will our efforts to gain COVID-19 herd immunity crack under the new virus strains? Here is a look at the most threatening strains that have developed so far and answers to your questions on how they’ll impact testing accuracy, mortality rates, vaccine effectiveness and more.

Groups of people walking representing superspreaders

The good, the bad, and the ugly of COVID-19 superspreaders.

Superspreaders: They’re nothing to sneeze at. Some people are simply more infectious than others who have the same disease. What’s more, these folks are likely responsible for the majority of COVID-19 cases. Learn what we know about superspreaders, what we don’t know and how to lower your risk of catching the virus.

Illustration of testing tubes with different liquid colors

Pooling test samples: How and when it works.

Pooled testing combines samples from several people into one test for infectious disease. It helps public health officials test more people in less time and with lower costs. Here’s how it works and when to use it.

Person breathing with virus molecules in the air

COVID-19 primarily infects its victims via expired breath – so why are we not using breath to detect it?

Breath tests are sophisticated enough today to detect more than 900 compounds present in 60 diseases, but none that are caused by viruses. Yet dogs appear to be able to sniff out the presence of COVID-19 particles in expired air, so a simple, inexpensive COVID-19 breathalyzer can’t be far behind right? Don’t hold your breath.

Image of a matrix

COVID-19 Test Accuracy: When is too much of a good thing bad?

Inexpensive, while-you-wait tests administered often may be the key to controlling the COVID-19 epidemic, even if those tests are less accurate. Here’s why high-accuracy COVID-19 tests don’t help prevent disease spread as well as less sensitive ones.

Image of blue particles

Ghosts in the Air: The lesson learned from a bus trip.

Early in the pandemic, information indicated that the virus was spread primarily by touching contaminated surfaces. More recent evidence shows that the primary and most dangerous form of transmission occurs by inhaling invisible airborne virus particles. A group of bus travellers in China taught us a great deal about these invisible ghosts in the air.

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