The strategy of sample pooling has earlier been used for community monitoring of trachoma. For diagnosis of SARS-CoV infection it may facilitate rational utilisation of resources; and is useful in areas with low prevalence of the disease. The ICMR conducted a feasibility study in KGMU Lucknow by pooling five samples; and has recommended its use only in areas with a low prevalence of the disease i.e. <2% from the existing data. Pooling is not advised in areas with positivity rates of >5%. (ICMR advisory dated 13.04.2020). However, pooled sample diagnosis can provide an effective strategy to track or monitor the spread or resurgence of an infection within a population.
Article: Hogan CA, Sahoo MK and Pinsky B. Sample pooling as a strategy to detect community transmission of SARS-CoV-2. JAMA April 2020. doi. 10.1001/jama.2020.544 [LINK]
Indications and tests-Pooled Samples