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.
|Title of host publication||Pandemics: Insurance and Social Protection|
|Publication status||Accepted/In press - 10 May 2021|