University of Dundee

SLS Workplace Asymptomatic Testing

Workplace screening for COVID-19

The School of Life Sciences is running a pilot in-house asymptomatic test to screen for Covid-19. This is entirely voluntary.

Why are we doing this?

Random surveillance by the Office of National Statistics (ONS) has shown that about 70% of COVID-19 positive individuals are asymptomatic at the point of testing and in the week preceding the test. Unfortunately, most of these individuals, while asymptomatic, are infectious to others. The concept of surveillance is to reduce COVID-19 transmission in the workplace by alerting asymptomatic COVID-19 positive individuals that they should isolate. Frequent testing with a rapid turnaround will reduce the opportunity for clustered transmission and the risk that poses for lab-based research in SLS.  Ultimately, this is an altruistic system to make the workplace safer for everyone.  

The testing procedure

This is a saliva-based test which uses Loop Mediated amplification to detect Sars Cov2 RNA. It is designed to detect high viral load and we anticipate few if any false positive tests. Anonymity will be preserved; test results will be communicated the same day. Any positive test results will also be sent to NHS Tayside who will offer a confirmation RT-PCR test and connection to the Test and Protect system. The School will provide support for those self-isolating.

Please note that this asymptomatic testing will not alter the need for PPE and in particular masks will still need to be worn. Testing negative does not mean you cannot become positive later the same day.

If you would like to participate, please complete this on-line form and you will then be contacted with further instructions:

Apply Here - Participation Form

 

Information on LAMP Testing

If you would like to know more about the differences between LAMP and other forms of test some common questions are addressed in the following FAQ from Southampton City Council

https://www.southampton.gov.uk/coronavirus-covid19/covid-testing/testing-programme/about-the-saliva-test.aspx

The assay we are using is most similar to that described on this web site – our assay is what is most similar to what is referred to as simple LAMP on this web site, but uses fluorescence to detect DNA product rather than calorimetry. 

https://www.rtlamp.org/

Some primary publications that have influenced the development of the assay we will use in house are:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7325181/

https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.06.23.166397v2

https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.07.16.20155168v4

https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.07.16.20150250v2

https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.06.30.20142935v4

https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.06.03.132894v1

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33220456/

https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.05.30.20117291v1.full.pdf