Supply shortages impacting COVID-19 and non-COVID testing

Oct. 23, 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 Association of Supply Chain Management to develop a survey to collect testing supplies 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 over the course of 6 weeks 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.

122 CLIA-certified labs have responded to the survey and report running at an average of 42.5% 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 that:

  • 73% have a shortage of commercial testing kits for SARS-CoV-2
  • 65% 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 )
  • 70.8% of labs have a shortage of supplies for molecular detection of sexually transmitted infections
  • 17.6% have a shortage of supplies for mycobacteria testing (including testing for tuberculosis (TB), Buruli ulcer, and pulmonary nontuberculous mycobacterial disease)
  • 50% 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

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

Avg. % of labs with a Shortage of NUCLEIC ACID EXTRACTION KITS 12.0%
Avg. % of labs with a Shortage of MASTER MIX KITS/REAGENTS 4.0%
Avg. % of labs with a Shortage of SYNTHESIZED PRIMERS & PROBES 8.3%
Avg. % of labs with a Shortage of LDT CONTROL MATERIALS 4.0%
Avg. % of labs with a Shortage of INSTRUMENT(S) FOR NUCLEIC ACID EXTRACTION 4.2%
Avg. % of labs with a Shortage of INSTRUMENT(S) FOR NUCLEIC ACID AMPLIFICATION/DETECTION 0.0%
Avg. % of labs with a Shortage of OTHER CONSUMABLES (e.g., tips, reagent bins) USED FOR LDTs 27.3%

 

COVID-19 Commercial Molecular Assay Testing Supplies Shortages:

Avg. % of labs with a Shortage of COMMERCIAL TESTING KITS 73.1%
Avg. % of labs with a Shortage of IVD INSTRUMENTS 31.8%
Avg. % of labs with a Shortage of CONTROL MATERIALS  3.8%

 

Non-COVID-19 Laboratory Testing Supplies Shortages:

Routine Bacteria Testing: Examples of routine bacteria tests are strep throat, pneumonia, bronchitis, and urinary tract infections.

Avg % of labs with shortages of supplies for detection/isolation of routine bacteria  56.0%
Avg. # of Days of Testing Remaining w/Current Supplies 8.2 Days

 

Routine Mycobacteria Testing: Examples of routine mycobacteria tests are tuberculosis (TB), Buruli ulcer, and pulmonary nontuberculous mycobacterial disease.

Avg % of labs with shortages of supplies for detection/isolation of mycobacteria 21.1%
Avg. # of Days of Testing Remaining w/Current Supplies 18.0 Days

 

Routine Fungal Testing: Range 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  45.5%
Avg. # of Days of Testing Remaining w/Current Supplies 10.1 Days

 

Routine Parasitic Testing: Examples of routine parasitic tests are giardia and cryptosporidium.

Avg % of labs with shortages of supplies for detection/isolation of parasites  5.0%
Avg. # of Days of Testing Remaining w/Current Supplies 3.0 Days

 

Routine Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI) Testing: Includes Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (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  60.0%
Avg. # of Days of Testing Remaining w/Current Supplies 10.8 Days

 

General Laboratory Supplies Shortage

Avg. % of Labs with a Shortage of NASOPHARYNGEAL SWABS 16.0%
Avg. % of Labs with a Shortage of OROPHARYNGEAL SWABS 13.0%
Avg. % of Labs with a Shortage of SALIVA COLLECTION DEVICES 0.0%
Avg. Percentage of Labs with a Shortage of OTHER COLLECTION DEVICES 9.1%
Avg. Percentage of Labs with a Shortage of VIRAL/UNIVERSAL TRANSPORT MEDIA 20.8%
Avg. Percentage of Labs with a Shortage of SALINE/PBS  0.0%
Avg. Percentage of Labs with a Shortage of LIQUID AMIES  11.8%