Group testing (or pool testing), for example, Dorfman's method or grid method, has been validated for COVID-19 RT-PCR tests and implemented widely by most laboratories in many countries. These methods take advantages since they reduce resources, time, and overall costs required for a large number of samples. However, these methods could have more false negative cases and lower sensitivity. In order to maintain both accuracy and efficiency for different prevalence, we provide a novel pooling strategy based on the grid method with an extra pool set and an optimized rule inspired by the idea of error-correcting codes. The mathematical analysis shows that (i) the proposed method has the best sensitivity among all the methods we compared, if the false negative rate (FNR) of an individual test is in the range [1%, 20%] and the FNR of a pool test is closed to that of an individual test, and (ii) the proposed method is efficient when the prevalence is below 10%. Numerical simulations are also performed to confirm the theoretical derivations. In summary, the proposed method is shown to be felicitous under the above conditions in the epidemic.
|Journal||Computational and Mathematical Methods in Medicine|
|Publication status||Published - 2021|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Modelling and Simulation
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Immunology and Microbiology(all)
- Applied Mathematics