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Self-collection of nasopharyngeal swab and molecular test in pool testing as strategies for detecting Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2): feasibility in medical students at the Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, 2021




COVID-19, Epidemiological Inquiries, Pandemic, Pool Testing, RT-PCR, SARS-CoV-2


Objective: To show the feasibility of using combined nasopharyngeal swab auto-collection and pool testing to detect SARS-CoV-2 in epidemiological surveys. Methods: The study involved a sample of 154 students from the Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, who performed the self-collection of the nasopharyngeal swab in individual booths without supervision. Molecular testing was performed using the pool testing technique. Results: Obtaining samples lasted about 5 minutes each. Analysis 6 was performed to detect endogenous RNA in 40 samples, and the results indicated that no failures resulted from self-collection. None of the pools detected the presence of viral RNA. The cost of performing the molecular test (RT-PCR) by pool testing with samples obtained by self-collection was about 10 times lower than with the usual methods. Conclusion: The investigated strategies showed to be economically feasible and valid for the research of SARS-CoV-2 in epidemiological surveys.


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Health Sciences