Impact of Pool Testing in Detection of Asymptomatic Patients With COVID-19

David L. Smalley, PhD; Patricia M. Cisarik, OD, PhD; James Grantham; William Cloud, MD; R. Brock Neil, PhD; Paul DePriest, MD


Lab Med. 2021;52(1):e15-e16. 

In This Article


The aliquot testing on all 9 asymptomatic patients confirmed positive results for RT-PCR for COVID-19 at a 5:1 dilution. The Ct value for a positive interpretation is <40. The 9 asymptomatic patients had a variation in Ct values that may reflect differences in viral load (see Table 1). The RT-PCR results for the 3:1, 5:1, and 7:1 aliquot specimens showed little differences in Ct values, confirming the detection capability at these dilutions. In addition, the data suggest that the RT-PCR detection capability is not linear in the dilutions.