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Survey of Clinical Laboratory Practices for 2015 Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus Outbreak in the Republic of Korea

 Mi-Kyung Lee  ;  Sinyoung Kim  ;  Mi-Na Kim  ;  Oh Joo Kweon  ;  Yong Kwan Lim  ;  Chang-Seok Ki  ;  Jae-Seok Kim  ;  Moon-Woo Seong  ;  Heungsup Sung  ;  Dongeun Yong  ;  Hyukmin Lee  ;  Jong-Rak Choi  ;  Jeong-Ho Kim 
 ANNALS OF LABORATORY MEDICINE, Vol.36(2) : 154-161, 2016 
Journal Title
Issue Date
Clinical Laboratory Services/standards* ; Clinical Laboratory Techniques/instrumentation ; Clinical Laboratory Techniques/methods ; Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis* ; Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology ; Coronavirus Infections/virology ; Disease Outbreaks ; Humans ; Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus/genetics ; Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus/isolation & purification ; RNA, Viral/analysis ; Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction ; Republic of Korea/epidemiology ; Sputum/virology ; Surveys and Questionnaires
Clinical laboratory ; Korea ; Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) ; Outbreak ; Preparedness ; Survey
BACKGROUND: It is crucial to understand the current status of clinical laboratory practices for the largest outbreak of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) infections in the Republic of Korea to be well prepared for future emerging infectious diseases. METHODS: We conducted a survey of 49 clinical laboratories in medical institutions and referral medical laboratories. A short questionnaire to survey clinical laboratory practices relating to MERS-CoV diagnostic testing was sent by email to the directors and clinical pathologists in charge of the clinical laboratories performing MERS-CoV testing. The survey focused on testing volume, reporting of results, resources, and laboratory safety. RESULTS: A total of 40 clinical laboratories responded to the survey. A total of 27,009 MERS-CoV real-time reverse transcription PCR (rRT-PCR) tests were performed. Most of the specimens were sputum (73.5%). The median turnaround time (TAT) was 5.29 hr (first and third quartile, 4.11 and 7.48 hr) in 26 medical institutions. The median TAT of more than a half of the laboratories (57.7%) was less than 6 hr. Many laboratories were able to perform tests throughout the whole week. Laboratory biosafety preparedness included class II biosafety cabinets (100%); separated pre-PCR, PCR, and post-PCR rooms (88.6%); negative pressure pretreatment rooms (48.6%); and negative pressure sputum collection rooms (20.0%). CONCLUSIONS: Clinical laboratories were able to quickly expand their diagnostic capacity in response to the 2015 MERS-CoV outbreak. Our results show that clinical laboratories play an important role in the maintenance and enhancement of laboratory response in preparation for future emerging infections.
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1. College of Medicine (의과대학) > Dept. of Laboratory Medicine (진단검사의학교실) > 1. Journal Papers
Yonsei Authors
Kim, Sin Young(김신영) ORCID logo https://orcid.org/0000-0002-2609-8945
Kim, Jeong Ho(김정호) ORCID logo https://orcid.org/0000-0003-2479-0548
Yong, Dong Eun(용동은) ORCID logo https://orcid.org/0000-0002-1225-8477
Choi, Jong Rak(최종락) ORCID logo https://orcid.org/0000-0002-0608-2989
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