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Paper   IPM / Biological Sciences / 16613
School of Biological Sciences
  Title:   False Negative Mitigation in Group Testing for COVID-19 Screening
1.  Amir Reza Alizad-Rahvar
2.  Safar Vafadar
3.  Mehdi Totonchi
4.  Mehdi Sadeghi
  Status:   Published
  Journal: frontiers in medicine
  Vol.:  8
  Year:  2021
  Pages:   579
  Supported by:  IPM
After lifting the COVID-19 lockdown restrictions and opening businesses, screening is essential to prevent the spread of the virus. Group testing could be a promising candidate for screening to save time and resources. However, due to the high false-negative rate (FNR) of the RT-PCR diagnostic test, we should be cautious about using group testing because a group's false-negative result identifies all the individuals in a group as uninfected. Repeating the test is the best solution to reduce the FNR, and repeats should be integrated with the group-testing method to increase the sensitivity of the test. The simplest way is to replicate the test twice for each group (the 2Rgt method). In this paper, we present a new method for group testing (the groupMix method), which integrates two repeats in the test. Then we introduce the 2-stage sequential version of both the groupMix and the 2Rgt methods. We compare these methods analytically regarding the sensitivity and the average number of tests. The tradeoff between the sensitivity and the average number of tests should be considered when choosing the best method for the screening strategy. We applied the groupMix method to screening 263 people and identified 2 infected individuals by performing 98 tests. This method achieved a 63

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