Some of the viruses such as H1N1 and COVID-19 are highly transmissible. It spreads from one person to another person by several means such as touch, coughing, and contaminated surfaces. When the virus is spreading very fast and there is no cure for it, then one of the possible measures that one can take is to go for as many testing as possible. But in the case of a global pandemic, we can face the shortage of testing kit that has high sensitivity. To overcome this challenge the pooled testing approach can be employed. Usually, in the case of pooled testing, samples from different individuals are pooled or mixed and tested by Nucleic Acid Amplification Test (NAT). If the result of pooled testing is negative then no individual has the infection but if the result of any pooled individual is positive then each individual needs to be tested separately.
Currently, the COVID-19 pandemic has become a global menace and two important right steps are to follow the social distancing and testing as many individuals as possible. Tracking the infection in the community is a very difficult task due to many asymptomatic positive cases. Recently sample pooling strategy was employed in the US for detecting community transmission. In this strategy, a retrospective study was performed on nasopharyngeal and bronchoalveolar lavage samples from inpatients and outpatients. These individuals showed negative results when tested by routine respiratory virus testing. Reverse transcriptase PCR test was employed for detecting envelope gene (E) of the virus on the pooled sample from 9 to 10 individuals. Further, individual sample from the positive pooled sample was tested for the presence of the E gene and RNA dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp) gene. Only 1 false-positive result came that suggests the specificity of the approach. Therefore, pooled screening methods can help where there is a scarcity of testing kits and community transmission of the disease needs to be detected on time.