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Article

Assessment of COVID-19 Molecular Testing Capacity in Jordan: A Cross-Sectional Study at the Country Level

1
Abt Associates, United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Funded Local Health System Sustainability Project (LHSS), Amman 11822, Jordan
2
Department of Pathology, Microbiology and Forensic Medicine, School of Medicine, The University of Jordan, Amman 11942, Jordan
3
Department of Clinical Laboratories and Forensic Medicine, Jordan University Hospital, Amman 11942, Jordan
4
Department of Translational Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Lund University, 22184 Malmo, Sweden
5
USAID Population and Family Health Office, Amman 11183, Jordan
6
Infectious Disease Detection and Surveillance (IDDS), Rockville, MD 20894, USA
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Alessandro Russo
Diagnostics 2022, 12(4), 909; https://doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics12040909
Received: 15 February 2022 / Revised: 16 March 2022 / Accepted: 16 March 2022 / Published: 6 April 2022
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic control measures rely on the accurate and timely diagnosis of infected individuals. Real-time polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) remains the gold-standard method for laboratory diagnosis of the disease. Delayed diagnosis due to challenges that face laboratories performing COVID-19 testing can hinder public health control measures. Such challenges may be related to shortages in staff, equipment or materials, improper inventory management, flawed workflow, or long turnaround time (TAT). The aim of the current study was to assess the overall COVID-19 molecular testing capacity in Jordan as of April 2021. In addition, the study’s objectives included the identification of potential defects that could comprise the utility of the COVID-19 molecular testing capacity in the country. All laboratories certified by the Ministry of Health (MoH) in Jordan to conduct molecular testing for SARS-CoV-2 were invited to participate in this study. Data were obtained from the participating laboratories (those which agreed to participate) by either telephone interviews or a self-reported written questionnaire with items assessing the key aspects of COVID-19 molecular testing. The full molecular testing capacity in each laboratory was self-reported considering 24 working hours. The total number of participating laboratories was 51 out of 77 (66.2%), with the majority being affiliated with MoH (n = 17) and private laboratories (n = 20). The total molecular COVID-19 testing capacity among the participating laboratories was estimated at 574,441 tests per week, while the actual highest number of tests performed over a single week was 310,047 (54.0%, reported in March 2021). Laboratories affiliated with the MoH were operating at a level closer to their maximum capacity (87.2% of their estimated full capacity for COVID-19 testing) compared to private hospital laboratories (41.3%, p = 0.004), private laboratories (20.8%, p < 0.001), and academic/research laboratories (14.7%, p < 0.001, ANOVA). The national average daily COVID-19 molecular testing was 349.2 tests per 100,000 people in April 2021. The average TAT over the first week of April 2021 for COVID-19 testing was 932 min among the participating laboratories, with the longest TAT among MoH laboratories (mean: 1959 min) compared to private laboratories (mean: 333 min, p < 0.001). Molecular COVID-19 testing potential in Jordan has not been fully utilized, particularly for private laboratories and those belonging to academic/research centers. Supply-chain challenges and shortages in staff were identified as potential obstacles hindering the exploitation of full molecular testing capacity for COVID-19 in the country. View Full-Text
Keywords: health policy; molecular diagnostics; coronavirus; severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2; real-time polymerase chain reaction health policy; molecular diagnostics; coronavirus; severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2; real-time polymerase chain reaction
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MDPI and ACS Style

Qaqish, B.; Sallam, M.; Al-Khateeb, M.; Reisdorf, E.; Mahafzah, A. Assessment of COVID-19 Molecular Testing Capacity in Jordan: A Cross-Sectional Study at the Country Level. Diagnostics 2022, 12, 909. https://doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics12040909

AMA Style

Qaqish B, Sallam M, Al-Khateeb M, Reisdorf E, Mahafzah A. Assessment of COVID-19 Molecular Testing Capacity in Jordan: A Cross-Sectional Study at the Country Level. Diagnostics. 2022; 12(4):909. https://doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics12040909

Chicago/Turabian Style

Qaqish, Bara’a, Malik Sallam, Maysa Al-Khateeb, Erik Reisdorf, and Azmi Mahafzah. 2022. "Assessment of COVID-19 Molecular Testing Capacity in Jordan: A Cross-Sectional Study at the Country Level" Diagnostics 12, no. 4: 909. https://doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics12040909

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