Drive-Thru Coronavirus Testing in Pandemics is Counter-Intuitive. Here’s why.

When dealing with rapidly emerging pandemics such as COVID-19, it is vital for infected individuals to be identified and quarantined as quickly as possible. In an effort to do this, drive-thru testing sites are being introduced nationwide to limit patients interactions with others.

While the introduction of these drive thru testing sites is a good faith effort, there are several issues with this approach. First, it asks high risk individuals to exit their homes and drive to testing sites, advice which contradicts self quarantining procedures and potentially increases the risk of disease spread. Subjects that are potentially infected may already be experiencing flu-like symptoms and anxiety about their health status making it riskier to operate a vehicle due to these stressful conditions, compromising the well being of the subject and surrounding individuals.

Ideally, having a simple, home-based collection kit that enables the subject to self collect and transport the inactive sample by mail would significantly reduce the risk of spread involved in pandemic testing. When developing testing devices for highly infectious diseases, every aspect of the test must be optimized to reduce the risk of infection spread.

What must be done:

● Prioritize quarantining of individuals likely to be infected

● Limit the amount of contact the subject has with the external environment and health care staff

● Minimize production of potentially infectious waste

● Inactivate infectious sample while maintaining bacterial/viral molecular signatures, stable at room temperature for weeks after collection, eliminating the need for cold chain storage or transport methods, before it comes in contact with lab technicians

How Mawi DNA Technologies can help solve these challenges with iSWAB-Microbiome:

● Simple, easy to follow protocol allows for in house self collection and room temperature mailing of inactivated samples

● Efficient, reliable, and non-toxic microbiome sampling that stabilizes microbe composition from point of collection to processing

● Stable at room temperature for weeks after collection, eliminating the need for cold chain storage or transport methods

How We’re Helping

Mawi DNA Technologies is doing its part to help fight the global spread of COVID-19! Avellino Lab has developed a new FDA-recognized genetic test for Coronavirus that was validated with our iSWAB-Microbiome as the primary sample collection method due to its unique properties. iSWAB-Microbiome is a swab based universal microbial sample collection technology that has been proven to inactivate viruses, bacteria, and fungi. It is also non-toxic and allows for long term room temperature transport and stabilization of both microbial DNA and RNA!