Pooled testing and its applications in the COVID-19 pandemic

David Ellis, Matthew P Aldridge

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter in a book


When testing for a disease such as COVID-19, the standard method is individual testing: we take a sample from each individual and test these samples separately. An alternative is pooled testing (or "group testing"), where samples are mixed together in different pools, and those pooled samples are tested. When the prevalence of the disease is low and the accuracy of the test is fairly high, pooled testing strategies can be more efficient than individual testing. In this chapter, we discuss the mathematics of pooled testing and its uses during pandemics, in particular the COVID-19 pandemic. We analyse some one- and two-stage pooling strategies under perfect and imperfect tests, and consider the practical issues in the application of such protocols.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPandemics: Insurance and Social Protection
ISBN (Print)978-3-030-78333-4
Publication statusPublished - 24 Oct 2021

Structured keywords

  • Covid19


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