Supply Shortages Impacting COVID-19 and Non-COVID Testing

Nov. 9, 2020

COVID-19 has brought unprecedented challenges to clinical laboratories. While U.S. labs continue to strive to provide quality and accurate test results in the face of adversity, the uncertainty and lack of supplies remains a significant hurdle, hindering day-to-day laboratory operations and the ability to increase testing capacity. 

ASM has partnered with the Association of Supply Chain Management to collect testing supply status for both COVID-19 tests as well as other microbiological tests to highlight, and ultimately alleviate, these debilitating supply chain issues. Starting Sept. 11, ASM began independently collecting shortage data directly from clinical labs, which allows us to draw attention to the data provided by laboratory directors and practicing clinical microbiologists without external influence. We will collect this data for the foreseeable future and share our findings each week on the most recent shortages of medium, reagents, collection devices and consumables that are significantly impacting day-to-day testing for both COVID-19 and other infectious diseases, along with week-over-week longitudinal changes.

134 CLIA-certified labs have responded to the survey during this time and report running at an average of 50.8% testing capacity for COVID-19. As a subset of clinical microbiology labs in the U.S., this data highlights that supply shortage is still an ongoing concern. If you are a member of a clinical microbiology lab and would like to get involved in our data collection efforts, please email us for details. All information provided will be confidential for one year.

The results also show the following non-COVID-19 shortages for the week of Nov. 10-17, 2020:
  • 74.4% of labs have a shortage of commercial testing kits for SARS-CoV-2.
  • 56.4% of labs have a shortage of non-COVID-19 testing supplies for detection of routine bacteria (including the bacteria causing strep throat, pneumonia, bronchitis and urinary tract infections).
  • 65.8% of labs have a shortage of supplies for the molecular detection of sexually transmitted infections.
  • 27.3% have a shortage of supplies for mycobacteria testing (including supplies for tuberculosis (TB), Buruli ulcer and pulmonary nontuberculous mycobacterial disease testing).
  • 12.1% of labs have a shortage of supplies for routine fungal testing (ranging from superficial, localized skin conditions to deeper tissue infections to serious lung, blood (septicemia) or systemic diseases).

National Overview & Survey Participants

National Overview of U.S. Laboratory COVID-19 Testing
National Overview of U.S. Laboratory COVID-19 Testing
 
 
Survey Participants
Survey Participants

Surveys Submitted, Lab Testing Volume & Lab Testing Capacity






Additional Information (Nov. 10-17, 2020)

COVID-19 Laboratory Developed Tests (LDT) Testing Supplies Shortages

Avg. % of labs with a Shortage of NUCLEIC ACID EXTRACTION KITS 16.2%
Avg. % of labs with a Shortage of MASTER MIX KITS/REAGENTS 0.0%
Avg. % of labs with a Shortage of SYNTHESIZED PRIMERS & PROBES 10.5%
Avg. % of labs with a Shortage of LDT CONTROL MATERIALS 2.8%
Avg. % of labs with a Shortage of INSTRUMENT(S) FOR NUCLEIC ACID EXTRACTION 8.3%
Avg. % of labs with a Shortage of INSTRUMENT(S) FOR NUCLEIC ACID AMPLIFICATION/DETECTION 5.7%
Avg. % of labs with a Shortage of OTHER CONSUMABLES (e.g., tips, reagent bins) USED FOR LDTs 28.6%

COVID-19 Commercial Molecular Assay Testing Supplies Shortages

Avg. % of labs with a Shortage of COMMERCIAL TESTING KITS 74.4%
Avg. % of labs with a Shortage of IVD INSTRUMENTS 15.2%
Avg. % of labs with a Shortage of CONTROL MATERIALS  2.9%


Non-COVID-19 Laboratory Testing Supplies Shortages

Routine Bacteria Testing (examples include strep throat, pneumonia, bronchitis and urinary tract infections)

Avg % of labs with shortages of supplies for detection/isolation of routine bacteria  56.4%
Avg. # of Days of Testing Remaining w/Current Supplies 9.4 Days

Routine Mycobacteria Testing (examples include tuberculosis (TB), Buruli ulcer and pulmonary nontuberculous mycobacterial disease)

Avg % of labs with shortages of supplies for detection/isolation of mycobacteria 27.3%
Avg. # of Days of Testing Remaining w/Current Supplies 14.7 Days

Routine Fungal Testing (from superficial, localized skin conditions to deeper tissue infections to serious lung, blood (septicemia) or systemic diseases)

Avg % of labs with shortages of supplies for detection/isolation of fungi 12.1%
Avg. # of Days of Testing Remaining w/Current Supplies  4.5 Days

Routine Parasitic Testing (examples include giardia and cryptosporidium)

Avg % of labs with shortages of supplies for detection/isolation of parasites  13.8%
Avg. # of Days of Testing Remaining w/Current Supplies 3.5 Days

Routine Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI) Testing (includes HIV/AIDS, chlamydia, gonorrhea, pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), genital warts and human papillomavirus (HPV), genital herpes (HSV-1, HSV-2) and syphilis)

Avg % of labs with shortages of supplies for detection/isolation of STI  65.8%
Avg. # of Days of Testing Remaining w/Current Supplies 10.2 Days


General Laboratory Supplies Shortage

Avg. % of Labs with a Shortage of NASOPHARYNGEAL SWABS 5.4%
Avg. % of Labs with a Shortage of OROPHARYNGEAL SWABS 7.1%
Avg. % of Labs with a Shortage of SALIVA COLLECTION DEVICES 0.0%
Avg. Percentage of Labs with a Shortage of OTHER COLLECTION DEVICES 29.2%
Avg. Percentage of Labs with a Shortage of VIRAL/UNIVERSAL TRANSPORT MEDIA 24.3%
Avg. Percentage of Labs with a Shortage of SALINE/PBS  3.6%
Avg. Percentage of Labs with a Shortage of LIQUID AMIES  26.9%