COVID-19 outbreak update

Earlier this month, WHO convened a forum to identify research gaps and priorities for COVID-19, co-hosted by GloPID-R. These priorities included the urgent need for access to accurate and standardized diagnostics for SARS-CoV-2 (the causative agent of COVID-19), which can be deployed in decentralized settings.

Diagnostics are a cornerstone of outbreak management. At the start, rapid and accurate diagnostics are key to understanding the transmissibility of the infectious agent, triaging patients appropriately, and controlling transmission. In the case of COVID-19, diagnostics have been critical to characterizing its clinical presentation and managing the spread of disease in China and beyond. Evidence to date suggests that a significant proportion of patients with COVID-19 present with mild symptoms and that the disease has a less abrupt onset than SARS.

WHO is continually updating technical guidance for COVID-19, including guidance on laboratory testing. FIND is working closely with WHO to provide support on training, technical assistance, and capacity building to ensure access to accurate and high-quality diagnostic testing for SARS-CoV-2.

We have now opened a call (EOI) for test developers interested in having their assays evaluated using a standardized, independent protocol. The results from this EOI will inform the selection of assays to be included in analytical and clinical evaluation studies, which will take place at an independent, third-party reference laboratory. Results from these studies will be shared with the global health community to inform SARS-CoV-2 diagnostic testing approaches.

Submission details can be found here: EOI: SARS-CoV-2 NAT evaluation

In addition, we are in the process of collating an overview of all SARS-CoV-2 tests in development for the diagnosis of COVID-19. The work-in-progress pipeline is available on our website here and we are in the process of sourcing additional information.

To submit details of a technology for inclusion in this pipeline, please use this form.

If you need any additional information about the EOI or the SARS-Cov-2 pipeline, please contact us.