The importance of limit of detection in COVID-19 tests

Written by Zymo Research

Plotting the best path for a successful testing strategy has been the bane of many governments throughout the pandemic. But this challenge has not been faced by politicians alone. Universities, healthcare systems and other services in which working from home is not an option have all been working to establish their own testing regimens to allow them to continue to deliver their service to the best of their ability.

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Several aspects play a key role in striking the critical balance that leads to a successful testing regimen. Of these aspects, analytical sensitivity has perhaps been the most vital to consider. The analytical sensitivity of a test can also be infered by determining its limit of detection (LoD) – the lowest detectable concentration of viral RNA that returns a positive result in ≥95% of repeat measurements.

In this article, Zymo Research analyzes the importance of the LoD in COVID-19 tests, highlighting the difference in LoD between different test types and the trade-offs required to achieve a high LoD. Make the best decisions for your testing lab and strike that balance to achieve a successful testing program with the advice in this article.