DGAP-News: SYNLAB AG
/ Key word(s): Product Launch/Alliance
07.05.2021 / 12:00
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SYNLAB Holding Germany GmbH
Highlights from SYNLAB Germany | SYNLAB supports the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia with regular lollipop-PCR-tests for pupils at elementary and specialist schools
SYNLAB, the largest European clinical laboratory and medical diagnostic services provider, together with other laboratories from NRW, will regularly provide screenings for pupils in North Rhine-Westphalia with the so-called lollipop-PCR-tests. Starting 10 May 2021, pupils at elementary and specialist schools will have the opportunity to do such a test twice a week. For this purpose, the individual samples will be analysed through the PCR-pooling-method. This set-up was agreed upon in a joint decision by the laboratories and the State Ministry for School and Education of North Rhine-Westphalia.
Due to the simple sample collection and the efficient and very accurate PCR-pooling-method, the lollipop-PCR-test is particularly well suited for use in schools. For sampling, pupils suck on a cotton swab for about 30 seconds. Then, up to 15 swabs are collected in a so-called pool tube. If there are more than 15 pupils in one class, additional swabs are collected in another pool tube. Thereafter, a logistics service picks up the samples directly at the schools and brings them straight to the laboratories for examination. Results are available the next morning.
The SYNLAB Access App provides school administrators, teachers and parents who are served by SYNLAB with a step-by-step guideline for the sampling procedure. If a pool tests positive, SYNLAB immediately informs the school’s testing officer, who in turn informs affected pupils, parents, and responsible teachers. In such a case, all pupils who were part of the positive pool use a second, previously distributed cotton swab to take a sample at home for a so-called retest. This retest is a highly sensitive PCR-test as well and makes it possible to identify which individual samples are positive and which are negative.
Dr Martin Roskos, Chief Medical Officer of SYNLAB Germany, emphasises the added value of the new test method compared to conventional sampling methods: “Compared to nasopharyngeal swabs or the gargle test, sampling with lollipop-PCR-tests is very easy, even for small children. In addition, this sampling-procedure can be supervised by teachers in schools to save time for actual school lessons. Overall, with the lollipop-PCR-test we offer a solution that is specifically tailored to the young and very young generation.”
Likewise, Dr Hassan Jomaa, medical director of the SYNLAB laboratory in Leverkusen, is convinced by the lollipop-PCR-tests and emphasises the state’s pioneering role: “Introducing lollipop-PCR-testing in collaboration with the State Ministry for School and Education, we are establishing an effective testing concept for schools throughout NRW. The lollipop-PCR-test makes simple, regular, and accurate testing in schools possible. We are very pleased that our work in SYNLAB’s Leverkusen laboratory will help protecting pupils and providing relieve for teachers and parents, all while strengthening safe schooling during the pandemic.”
With a sensitivity of more than 90 per cent, the PCR-pooling-method used for lollipop-PCR-testing offers a significantly higher accuracy than rapid antigen tests. In fact, SYNLAB studies have shown that about 40 percent of asymptomatic people tested positive on SARS-CoV-2 are not detected by rapid antigen tests.
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