Germany launches the Covid ‘lollipop’ test for children

PCR paddle tests are part of the study 'The Lolli Strategy'. Photo: (Specia)

As many German schools return to regular attendance, students must be regularly tested for COVID-19. In the state of North Rhine-Westphalia, children can now use what’s being called the “lollipop” method. DW visits a school in Cologne.

The end of the summer vacation is approaching in some German states. Currently, the infection figures in Germany are rising with high dynamics. In order to be better prepared this time and to better enable the regular operation of daycare centers and schools, there is another reliable testing strategy: the Lolli-Pool-PCR test.
The Robert Koch Institute also sees this test method as a suitable solution for detecting and limiting infections at an early stage. This is because this test method is more reliable than rapid antigen tests.

Lolli pool PCR tests have better specificity and sensitivity

Sample collection of the lollipop pool PCR test is very simple and has very high specificity and sensitivity, making it especially qualified for daycare centers and schools. The collection can be done in a few minutes for larger groups, saving a lot of time compared to the antigen test. This is because the children only have to suck on a cotton swab for about 30 seconds – which is not only faster but above all more pleasant. The samples from a daycare center group or school class (up to a maximum of 25 samples) are then collected in a common sample tube, evaluated on the same day in the laboratory using the PCR method, and the results passed on by the next morning at the latest. If the pool test is positive, another lollipop test must be done at home the next day. The pool is thus dissolved and each test is then examined individually with the PCR method in order to identify the infected children. Overall, testing takes longer this way, but at the same time it is more reliable and earlier detection is possible with close-meshed testing. This is because the advantages outweigh the disadvantages of longer PCR evaluation compared to rapid antigen testing.

Probatix offers fully digitized PCR pool testing

Lollitesting is being used in initial test runs in Germany. Positive is especially the time saving during lessons or in daycare centers and the more comfortable sample collection turns out to be a big advantage especially in elementary and special schools, as it is an age-appropriate sample collection for all. If you have any questions about the software and would also like to become a partner, please feel free to contact us.

Source: DW

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