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Recent CLN Articles

SARS-CoV-2 Testing on AACC Artery—Online Resource for the Global Laboratory Community

MAY.21.2020 – With researchers and clinicians alike continuously learning about SARS-CoV-2, ongoing dialogue among professionals about these issues and more has been crucial. The global lab community has turned time and time again to the SARS-CoV-2 Testing Community on AACC Artery, available to AACC members and other interested parties after a simple registration.

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Diabetes Management in the Time of COVID-19

MAY.21.2020 – Individuals with diabetes are at increased risk for COVID-19, the illness caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus. As federal officials loosen restrictions on in-hospital use of personal glucose meters by COVID patients, clinical labs and institutions can take critical steps to support patients with diabetes or metabolic disease in the hospital setting.

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The Great COVID-19 Serology Race

MAY.21.2020 – With the notion that serology tests could help identify individuals with past COVID-19 infections and support community surveillance efforts, the Food and Drug Administration first allowed serology tests for SARS-CoV-2 to come to market in March. Developers responded in droves.

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Factors in Implementing SARS-CoV-2 Serology Tests

MAY.7.2020 – Serology tests that detect SARS-CoV-2 virus antibodies (immunoglobulin A/G/M) have proliferated as society looks for ways to relax quarantine restrictions. Such tests might help track community spread of SARS-CoV-2 virus and determine whether plasma donated by patients who have recovered from COVID-19 could help still sick patients recover.

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Key Biomarkers in Managing COVID-19

APR.16.2020 – Common laboratory values may provide key insights into patients with COVID-19, the illness caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus, as well as the viral infection itself.

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The Race to Bring SARS-CoV-2 Tests Online

APR.16.2020 – Heeding the emergency call by federal regulators to rapidly develop and distribute tests for 2019-novel-coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, diagnostic manufacturers and clinical labs have taken unprecedented steps, surmounting delays and challenges to meet the demands of a global outbreak modern history has never seen.

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Lab Preparedness During the COVID-19 Pandemic

APR.2.2020 – The past few months have been a whirlwind of news about, and activities in response to, the emergence and spread of the novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2. As this pandemic unfolds, laboratory personnel are key to the efforts to halt the virus’s spread and treat patients.

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How Labs in the U.S. Are Responding to COVID-19

MAR.18.2020 – With testing in the global spotlight, two laboratorians share their stories of bringing up testing as regulatory hurdles, shortages of test components, and a rapidly expanding pandemic stressed laboratories unlike anything before.

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In The News

New CDC Guidelines Reveal Downsides of Antibody Testing

May.28.2020 – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released new guidelines warning that antibody test results can have high false positive rates and should not be used to make decisions about returning people to work, schools, dorms or other places where people congregate. Once hailed as a solution, the tests now seem more likely to add chaos and uncertainty to a situation already fraught with anxiety, according to some experts. (Kaiser Health News).

Researchers are Preparing for a Second Wave of COVID-19 With Genome Sequencing

May.27.2020 – Whole-genome sequencing has given researchers the ability to closely monitor COVID-19 outbreaks in their countries and pinpoint when community transmission occurred. As a second wave is expected, researchers say that genomics will be crucial to quickly track and control a future outbreak (Nature).

False Statistics as the U.S. Begins to Reopen

MAY.20.2020 – As the U.S. begins lifting lockdown requirements, some states are being accused of mishandling statistics and giving the impression that the virus is more under control than it actually is (AP News).

Rural Geographical Areas With No Testing Sites at Risk for Outbreak

MAY.20.2020 – A recent report by health software company, Castlight, showed a high number of U.S. counties that do not have coronavirus testing sites, leaving residents vulnerable to undetected coronavirus outbreaks (Axios).

Reopening Leads to a Rise In Lab Testing Volumes

MAY.19.2020 – Lab management groups reveal that in the last three weeks they have seen a steady uptick in test volumes among their clients, suggesting that the industry, or at least parts of it, could be moving toward a recovery (Modern Healthcare).

CDC Hopes to Reveal Antibody Evolvement and the Future of COVID-19

MAY.18.2020 – A study from the CDC, expected to launch this summer, will test samples from blood donors in 25 metropolitan areas for antibodies created when the immune system fights the coronavirus. The study will expand the scope and time frame of the virus to see how antibodies evolve over time (Reuters).

U.S. Employers Stray From Antibody Testing

MAY.15.2020 – After the American Medical Association cautioned that antibody tests do not determine an individual’s immunity, a survey revealed that many employers plan to rely on face masks, temperature checks, social distancing, and diagnostic tests for their employees with symptoms (Reuters).

U.K. Researchers Develop Study to Understand How Human Genomes Can Affect COVID-19 Severity

MAY.14.2020 – Researchers from Genomics England and the Genetics of Mortality in Critical Care consortium are working to analyze human genome sequencing data to help provide new insights into the impact of genetic makeup on whether a patient will likely suffer only mild COVID-19 symptoms, or whether they are at risk of progressing to severe disease that requires hospitalization (Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News).

How Genetics May Play a Role in COVID-19 Diagnosis

MAY.13.2020 – 23andMe, a DNA genetic testing and analysis company will offer free genetic testing to COVID-19 patients to better understand why some get sick and others show no symptoms. Scientists hope to find a gene that strongly influences, or even determines, how badly people are affected by the coronavirus (MIT Technology Review).

NIH Director Urges Senate to Provide Better Technology

MAY.7.2020 – Senior U.S. health official Francis Collins told a Senate hearing on Thursday that the country needs better diagnostic testing technology to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic. He added that existing testing technology still relies on sending samples to labs for results, and new technologies must be developed to deliver tests that rapidly deliver results on site and be widely distributed (Reuters).

Too Much Data?

MAY.7.2020 – The mix of approaches and standards in collecting COVID-19 testing data is causing delays in the U.S. response to the pandemic. Without a uniform, efficient pipeline for aggregating and reporting data, the U.S. lacks the up-to-date information that would help focus efforts, causing experts to spend unnecessary resources and time reconciling irregularities and disparities in the numbers (MIT Technology Review).

A Study of Antibodies

MAY.7.2020 – A recent study of COVID-19 patients in China brings much-needed clarity, along with renewed enthusiasm, to efforts to develop and implement widescale antibody testing. However, more research is needed to determine if people infected with SARS-CoV-2 produce antibodies that may protect them from re-infection (NIH Directors Blog).

Mixed Results Lead to Uncertain Diagnoses

MAY.5.2020 – The contradicting results from testing has left many patients uncertain of their diagnosis. After four different tests and mixed results, a COVID-19 patient is unsure of whether he ever had the virus to begin with, proving the need for more accurate testing (Bloomberg).

Scientists Place Hope in Crispr

MAY.5.2020 – A team of scientists believe that a gene-editing technology known as Crispr could provide a new testing solution for COVID-19. Using Crispr, the scientists have developed a prototype for a test that would not only be inexpensive but deliver results as quick as a pregnancy test (The New York Times).

An Op-Ed on Testing

APR.28.2020 – With the quick spread of COVID-19, the U.S. has been racing to increase testing with a goal to identify people who might spread the virus and isolate them, and to allow anyone protected from reinfection to resume an active social and professional life. But experts believe far too few tests are available in the United States saying even the ones that are precise aren’t designed to produce the kind of definitive yes-no results that people expect (The New York Times).

Experts Push for Tighter FDA Reviews

APR.27.2020 – Current FDA policy allows manufacturers to validate the quality of their own products as long as they include a disclaimer with test results. However, experts are finding that testing is not accurate enough, giving too many false positives, and are urging the FDA to crack down on its reviews of testing (Politico).

Can America Successfully Deploy an Efficient Testing System?

APR.23.2020 – In response to a delayed start in COVID-19 testing, a consensus is emerging among America’s scientists, economists and public-health officials that creating a massive system that can test millions of people a day for the virus will be needed to get out of lockdown safely. But with a testing system that has never been built before, experts must look at every factor that comes with it, including an expensive price tag (The Economist).

NIH Director's Take on Stopping the Spread

APR.23.2020 – Several new studies indicate that containing SARS-CoV-2—the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19—will involve many challenges. While there is uncertainty ahead, NIH researchers are forging ahead with efforts to develop and implement strategies to prevent future outbreaks (NIH Directors Blog).

LabCorp Receives FDA Authorization for First COVID-19 In-Home Test

APR.21.2020 – An in-home nasal swab kit sold by LabCorp aims to reduce person-to-person exposure and still offer accurate results. LabCorp says the test kits will be available for health care workers and emergency workers before selling to consumers (The New York Times).

"Test, Test, Test"

APR.20.2020 – Experts from the Harvard University Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics developed a plan (Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics) for the U.S. to reopen its economy safely this summer. In order to do so, healthcare professionals must be performing 5 million test a day by June (Technology Review).

Will Antibody Testing Save Us?

APR.18.2020 – Antibody tests have captured the world’s attention for their potential to help life return to normal by revealing who has been exposed, and might now be immune, to the new coronavirus. But as with all new technology, scientists say there is more research needed to determine whether the tests are truly reliable (Nature Research).

False Testing Sites, A New Concern for Health Officials

APR.16.2020 – The California Department of Health shut down a pop-up COVID-19 testing site in San Diego after receiving no response for documentation that proved authorization to perform testing. Health officials are warning other states to be cautious of similar testing sites that may not be legally testing (Association of Health Care Journalists).

Healthcare Workers Seek More Testing as Trump Aims to Reopen

APR.15.2020 – President Trump pushes for the reopening of the economy, but healthcare workers remaining focused of new methods of testing. Although capacity has improved in recent weeks, testing and supply shortages remain crippling (The New York Times).

Additional Testing Needed as Uncertainty Lies Ahead

APR.15.2020 – When COVID-19 reached the U.S., it was clear the country was not prepared in diagnostic testing. Experts agree that before social distancing restrictions can be lifted, the U.S. urgently needs to expand its ability to test for the virus (The Atlantic)

Accuracy vs. Speed for COVID-19 Testing

APR.10.2020 – The urgent need for testing has led to the FDA to loosening up authorization requirements (FDA.gov), leaving some concern about just how accurate test results will be from some commercial kits. Patients with clear COVID-19 symptoms are still testing negative, yet experts have little information on the prevalence of false negatives (ProPublica).

Testing Shortage Causes Texas Health Professional to Take Bold Risks

ARP.10.2020 – In Laredo, Texas, thousands of rapid COVID-19 test kits were confiscated by federal authorities after an emergency room owner purchased them from an unknown manufacturer, leading healthcare workers to determine that they were unreliable and unusable. Across the country, health professionals are taking extreme risks to provide help to sick patients during a shortage of testing (ProPublica).

Rutgers University Receives Clearance for First Coronavirus Saliva Test

APR.13.2020 – The U.S. government provided Rutgers University with clearance for the first saliva test to help diagnose COVID-19. Using testing kits from Spectrum Solutions, the Rutgers Lab can test 10,000 patient samples a day, without person to person exposure. The test, which requires patients place spit into a test tube, has proven reliable compared to current nasal and throat swab samples, according to the university researchers (NBC News).

The Journey of COVID-19 Patient Samples

APR.13.2020 – Experts describe the time-consuming, and sometimes unpredictable, process of transporting patient samples to a testing lab for results. In New Jersey, the state with the second highest COVID-19 caseload, patients are spending nights in their cars while waiting for the drive through testing site to open, only to wait days for a phone call with results (The New York Times).  

AACC COVID-19 Resource Center

All of AACC’s education and advocacy resources, the AACC COVID-19 Testing Directory, and more.

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