The COVID-19 pandemic has forced unprecedented change throughout society, from lockdowns and mask wearing to the rapid marshalling of the molecular diagnostics and therapeutic development communities to counteract this deadly disease. In Countering COVID, a podcast brought to you by LGC, Biosearch Technologies, our goal is to help assay developers, scientists, and clinicians gain behind-the-scenes insight into the technologies around SARS-CoV-2 testing. Through conversations with the scientists that are building, implementing, and reconfiguring technologies to address SARS-CoV-2 challenges, we highlight how, working together, we can make the world a safer place.
Insights from an academic clinical research assay developer
The sudden onset of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic forced many academic research labs to pivot to diagnostic testing. In this episode, we speak with Priya Banada, an Assistant Professor at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, about her experiences pivoting from developing clinical research assays to running diagnostic assays, with added insights from a software vendor’s point-of-view from James Grayson. We also cover the pros and cons of different sample types, viral load, and how more clinicians should be asking to see Ct values.
Focusing on the finer points of the SARS-CoV-2 testing workflow: false positives and false negatives
Like any diagnostic test, SARS-CoV-2 molecular diagnostic assays are affected by the appearance of false positives and false negative results. In this episode, we speak with qPCR assay, workflow, and measurement experts Jim Huggett, Tania Nolan, and James Grayson about the causes of false positives and false negatives and how to mitigate these misleading events. Along the way we also touch on limits-of-detection, the role of workflow software in supporting the production of reliable results, and important aspects of the qPCR assay that clinicians and assay developers should keep in mind.