In August of 2020, Duke University launched a SARS-CoV-2 surveillance testing program as part of a comprehensive COVID-19 mitigation plan for the Fall semester. The foundation of this program was an innovative pooled qPCR testing method that regularly surveyed students, faculty and staff. In addition to detecting the presence or absence of virus, the pooled tests provided quantitative data regarding viral load. Time series data collected from the pooled tests, symptomatic testing, contact tracing, and quarantine afforded a view of viral transmission and infection dynamics. This population-level data was used to inform mitigation policies and parameter estimates for mathematical and statistical modeling approaches. In parallel to the qPCR surveillance program, new SARS-CoV-2 testing methods are being developed that may augment current surveillance capabilities. A novel next generation sequencing platform in development has the capability to support high-throughput surveillance testing while providing quantitative sequence-level data for identifying and tracking SARS-CoV-2 variants within the population. Details of methods and lessons learned will be discussed.
This panel discussion is one of the many events during Duke Research Week 2021. Register to join at dukeresearchweek.vfairs.com.
Please contact the Office of Research at email@example.com with any questions or concerns.