february 2021 • BMJ

Put to the test: use of rapid testing technologies for covid-19

Crozier A., et al

DOI: 10.1136/bmj.n208

Content curated by:David Rodrigues

Key message

Estratégias para o uso dos testes covid-19 variam amplamente entre países Os testes rápidos fornecem oportunidades para detecção precoce e isolamento, mas devem ser integrados em estratégias mais amplas para controlar a transmissão; A avaliação dos benefícios e riscos de diferentes estratégias de teste sugere que os novos testes podem ser usados em políticas de saúde pública para melhorar a resiliência e recuperação de covid-19. O contexto parece ser determinante: áreas mais afectadas e com maior potencial de impacto negativo (pobreza, escassos recursos) podem beneficiar de maior sensibilidade nas respostas locais.

Analysis

Method

Revisão e análise da evidência sobre testes para covid-19

Abstract

"Alex Crozier and colleagues look at how new technologies can be most appropriately used to support different testing strategies and examine the benefits and risks. Governments have invested enormous resources in scaling up testing capacity in their responses to covid-19. Real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (PCR) was the first, and still the most widely used, test. However, several days can elapse between requesting a test and getting and acting on a result, leaving a window in which infection may spread. A further problem is that people may transmit infection before recognising symptoms—a key driver of spread. In addition, some people who remain asymptomatic have a similar viral load to those who develop symptoms and may also contribute to spread, although the extent of this is unclear. Given the importance of presymptomatic or paucisymptomatic transmission, measures that shorten the time between testing and results are essential for minimising onward transmission. It is difficult to achieve this with large scale PCR testing."