More than 4.44 million lives have been lost since the pandemic began in 2020. Following a quiet period when many relaxed their guard, we’re now seeing spikes on graphs we thought — and hoped — had bottomed out. Despite efforts to put the pandemic behind us, our global population is vulnerable once again as SARS-CoV-2 variants spread. Under these circumstances, even after 1.5 years, testing for COVID-19 remains absolutely paramount.
More Than One COVID-19
Four SARS-CoV-2 variants have officially been classified as Variants of Concern by WHO and the CDC. Compared to the original virus from Wuhan, China, these mutations are deadlier, more virulent and less responsive to treatment and vaccines. Today, only 51.5% of Americans are vaccinated, leaving 48.5% of our country’s population susceptible to serious infection by SARS-CoV-2 strains. That gives us no choice but to monitor infections with continuous diagnostic testing, not just for SARS-CoV-2 but for all variants.
PathogenDx Shifts Focus
No matter how the pandemic ebbs and flows, PathogenDx has adapted lock-step with the virus to deliver the necessary diagnostics and surveillance testing for variants — even today. We’ve developed more sensitive, specific and extensive diagnostic assays and environmental detection systems than current FDA-authorized COVID-19 tests.
Technologies like our Detectx-Cv assay, which can both diagnose an infection and identify the variant, are most needed today. With infections trending up, we need to be able to identify SARS-CoV-2 variants if we hope to expand genomic surveillance, understand vaccine efficacy and administer the appropriate treatment.
Thus we have the three components that need to work in unison in order to bring a conclusive end to the pandemic: testing, vaccinations and therapeutic medicines. Without one, the entire system collapses.
We must keep COVID-19 variants under control. Keeping them contained requires constant surveillance. Constant surveillance means the continuation of COVID-19 testing.
It’s the only path to reclaiming our pre-pandemic normalcy.
Milan Patel is CEO of PathogenDx, an Arizona-based biotech company on a mission to set the new standard in molecular-based testing through widespread adoption of its advanced microarray testing.