Recommendations for sample pooling on the Cepheid GeneXpert(R) system using the Cepheid Xpert(R) Xpress SARS-CoV-2 assay

Recommendations for sample pooling on the Cepheid GeneXpert(R) system using the Cepheid Xpert(R) Xpress SARS-CoV-2 assay

SEMrush

The coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic, caused by SARS-CoV-2, has resulted in a global testing supply shortage. In response, pooled testing has emerged as a promising strategy that can immediately increase testing capacity. Here, we provide support for the adoption of sample pooling with the point-of-care Cepheid Xpert(R) Xpress SARS-CoV-2 molecular assay. Corroborating previous findings, the Xpert(R) Xpress SARS-CoV-2 assay limit of detection was comparable to central laboratory reverse-transcription quantitative PCR tests with observed SARS-CoV-2 detection below 100 copies/mL. The Xpert(R) Xpress assay detected SARS-CoV-2 after samples with minimum viral loads of 461 copies/mL were diluted into six sample pools. Based on these data, we recommend the adoption of pooled testing with the Xpert(R) Xpress SARS-CoV-2 assay where warranted by population public health needs. The suggested number of samples per pool, or pooling depth, is unique for each point-of-care test site and should be determined by assessing positive test rates. To statistically determine appropriate pooling depth, we have calculated the pooling efficiency for numerous combinations of pool sizes and test rates. This information is included as a supplemental dataset that we encourage public health authorities to use as a guide to make recommendations that will maximize testing capacity and resource conservation.

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