Strategic Pooled Sampling and Testing for Rapid COVID-19 Diagnostics and Prevalence Estimation for UArizona Re-Opening

Principal Investigator(s)

Ravi Tandon, Dean Billheimer

Target Population(s)

UA Students, Staff and Faculty

Contact Information

Ravi Tandon: tandonr@arizona.edu

Dean Billheimer: dean.billheimer@arizona.edu

Bonnie LaFleur: blafleur@arizona.edu 

 

 

Project Summary, Description, or Purpose

Diagnostic testing will play a critical role towards a safe and responsible re-opening of UArizona in Fall 2020 and beyond. The goal of this project is to scale up COVID-19 diagnostics and surveillance using novel pooled testing techniques and strategic sampling. The basic idea behind pooled testing is to test pooled samples of multiple participants. If the outcome of the pooled test is negative, then it suggests that all the samples are negative; or if it is positive, suggests that at least one sample in the pool is positive. We will develop new pooling designs in conjunction with strategically sampling across campus, while incorporating auxiliary information (screening + sampling + COVID-watch data) to enable maximum use of all available information. We will design & implement strategic pooled RT PCR testing to massively scale up diagnostic capabilities in close collaboration with various focus groups (including UA Health Sciences, UA Genomics core and BIO5).