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Table of Contents
Year : 2020  |  Volume : 3  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 358-359

Tussle of tertiary testing laboratories amid the coronavirus disease-2019 crisis

1 Institute of Bioinformatics, International Technology Park, Bengaluru; Manipal Academy of Higher Education, Manipal, Karnataka, India
2 Datar Cancer Genetics Limited, Nasik, Maharashtra, India

Date of Submission15-May-2020
Date of Decision16-May-2020
Date of Acceptance16-May-2020
Date of Web Publication19-Jun-2020

Correspondence Address:
Prashant Kumar
Institute of Bioinformatics, International Technology Park, Bengaluru - 560 066, Karnataka
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/CRST.CRST_199_20

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How to cite this article:
Deb B, Datar R, Kumar P. Tussle of tertiary testing laboratories amid the coronavirus disease-2019 crisis. Cancer Res Stat Treat 2020;3:358-9

How to cite this URL:
Deb B, Datar R, Kumar P. Tussle of tertiary testing laboratories amid the coronavirus disease-2019 crisis. Cancer Res Stat Treat [serial online] 2020 [cited 2020 Nov 23];3:358-9. Available from: https://www.crstonline.com/text.asp?2020/3/2/358/287241

The amazing power of technological advances in the field of medicine constantly strives to outsmart the challenges faced during the care and for the improvement of human health. Most importantly, pandemics such as the global coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) test the potential of the biomedical technology that plays a vital role in such urgent situations. The COVID-19 pandemic is unprecedented, and substantial efforts and resources need to be devoted to the care of patients and research in this area.[1] Particularly, the development of accurate diagnostic methods must be accelerated to facilitate the prompt identification and quarantine of the infected individuals, which is a critical step toward pandemic control.

Patil et al.,[2] in their article, have reported the testing of 5500 biological samples for COVID-19. With an increase in the knowledge base of SARS-CoV-2, there is a continuous revision of the strategies for screening and diagnosis of COVID-19. The article was focused on the decision to test for COVID-19, based on the clinical findings, epidemiological factors, and an assessment of the likelihood of infection. The RNA-based real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) (the Altona and Mylab kits were chosen according to the accuracy and reproducibility) was the diagnostic test of choice for all the suspected cases, including the asymptomatic ones. The tests were conducted at Metropolis Healthcare Ltd., which is a tertiary laboratory equipped with a biosafety level-3 facility with negative pressure and Class II biosafety cabinet to handle infected specimens. Qualified, experienced, and competent staff were chosen to conduct the tests with high accuracy. Amid the crisis, the staff at the laboratory leaned in to initiate and successfully conduct the screening procedures. The laboratory worked with innovative planning to scale up the testing by setting up testing units in other laboratories of Metropolis across the nation certified by the National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories.

Amid the incessant modification in the diagnostic approach and the technical constraints, such as the limited availability of personal protective equipment for safe sample collection, that emerge with the increase in the number of subjects that require screening, Metropolis Healthcare Ltd. has contributed with a commendable effort. Although a large number of subjects were screened, the number of false-positive and false-negative results was high; this could have been circumvented with the implementation of two or more methods for testing and confirmation, such as an RT-PCR, and an additional antibody-based method targeting immunoglobulin (Ig) G and IgM.[3] If we overcome the limitations of the availability of resources, commendable progress can certainly be made in the area of COVID-19 testing and identification for the provision of better healthcare services. Moreover, web-based learning must be widely adopted by medical educators to deliver content; alternate approaches for evaluation have been less intuitive and therefore must be followed rigorously.[4]

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Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

  References Top

Steinfort DP, Herth FJF, Irving LB, Nguyen PT. Safe performance of diagnostic bronchoscopy/EBUS during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic [published online ahead of print, 2020 May 13]. Respirology. 2020;10.1111/resp.13843.  Back to cited text no. 1
Patil N, Lad A, Rajadhyaksha A, Chadha K, Chheda P, Wadhwa V, et al. COVID-19: Experience of a tertiary reference laboratory on the cusp of accurately testing 5500 samples and planning scalability. Cancer Res Stat Treat 2020;3 Suppl S1:138-40.  Back to cited text no. 2
Li C, Ren L. Recent progress on the diagnosis of 2019 novel coronavirus. Eur J Nucl Med Mol Imaging 2020;47:1275-80.  Back to cited text no. 3
Mooney CJ, Peyre SE, Clark NS, Nofziger AC. Rapid transition to online assessment: practical steps and unanticipated advantages. Med Educ 2020 May 13. doi: 10.1111/medu.14225.  Back to cited text no. 4


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