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Subspecialties COVID-19, Point of care testing, Screening and monitoring

International Pathology Day 2020: Controlling the Spread of COVID-19

A League of Their Own
Football and COVID-19 may not be closely associated, but Germany’s national testing strategy led to the Bundesliga returning before any other professional Western sports league (1). How? The early decision to allow no-barrier, cost-free access to testing and fully reimburse laboratories for increased testing contributed to the Bundesliga’s success.

Serology Saves the Day
Rapid decay of antibodies in the convalescent period may threaten the possibility of herd immunity to COVID-19 from natural infection. Serological testing may be important for understanding this immune response and may prompt follow-up with patients receiving convalescent plasma (2).

Camels of COVID-19
How does South Africa’s COVID-19 testing approach relate to camels? Camelid heavy chain-only antibodies contain a fully functional antibody fragment that is cheap and easy to engineer and can be incorporated into a lateral flow rapid antigen test for SARS-CoV-2 (3).

Pathogens are Forever
Pandemics come and go, but endemic pathogens remain. Toxoplasma gondii is the most successful parasite in the world, but the pandemic has created obstacles to laboratory-based research into other diseases. This includes the study of T. gondii transmission, prompting researchers on the One Health EJP project – TOXOSOURCES – to focus on literature reviews where lab work is impossible (4).

Click to see the IPD2020 roundtable.

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  1. E Kotsopoulos, “How early testing contributed to a robust pandemic response in Germany (and saved the Bundesliga along the way…) Presented at the International Pathology Day 2020 Virtual Conference; November 11, 2020. Available at: https://youtu.be/Hkh-dN13iTA.
  2. A Hajeer, “Serology testing for MERS and SARS-CoV-2 Infections.” Presented at the International Pathology Day 2020 Virtual Conference; November 11, 2020. Available at: https://youtu.be/hPmoqLrRn2U.
  3. T Pillar, “The South African perspective on COVID-19: developing new diagnostic approaches. Presented at the International Pathology Day 2020 Virtual Conference; November 11, 2020. Available at: https://youtu.be/15iNpGks9_E.
  4. P Jokelainen, “Endemic pathogens and international research projects during a pandemic: Toxoplasma gondii and international research project TOXOSOURCES as an example. Presented at the International Pathology Day 2020 Virtual Conference; November 11, 2020. Available at: https://youtu.be/9mjYP-TRiEg.

About the Author

Olivia Gaskill

During my undergraduate degree in psychology and Master’s in neuroimaging for clinical and cognitive neuroscience, I realized the tasks my classmates found tedious – writing essays, editing, proofreading – were the ones that gave me the greatest satisfaction. I quickly gathered that rambling on about science in the bar wasn’t exactly riveting for my non-scientist friends, so my thoughts turned to a career in science writing. At Texere, I get to craft science into stories, interact with international experts, and engage with readers who love science just as much as I do.

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