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  • The African Society for Laboratory Medicine (ASLM)
  • London School of Hygeine & Tropical Medicine logo

COVID-19: Diagnostics and Testing

Get the latest recommendations on COVID-19 diagnostics and testing, and how to improve testing capacity in low-income settings.

22,016 enrolled on this course

COVID-19: Diagnostics and Testing

Understand the key role diagnostics play in outbreak control

As the world struggles to contain the COVID-19 outbreak, healthcare infrastructure and testing capacity have emerged as major issues.

Different countries have implemented different testing strategies, and from the range of diagnostic tests available, some have received authorization for use by national regulatory agencies.

There’s a need for independent evaluation of these tests and guidance on implementing safe and reliable testing.

On this course, you’ll discover the latest recommendations on COVID-19 testing and get up-to-date information on the performance of tests and how best to deploy them.


  • Week 1

    COVID-19 and the role of diagnostics

    • Welcome and introduction

      In this section we describe the course, how learning is supported, and introduce each other

    • The COVID-19 pandemic and diagnostics response

      Learn about the global status of COVID-19 diagnostics and testing

    • Operational considerations for COVID-19 testing

      In this section you will learn how to establish and scale up COVID-19 diagnostics and testing in your setting

    • End of Week 1

      Learn about key FAQs around COVID-19 diagnostics and testing

  • Week 2

    Molecular Testing for COVID-19

    • Welcome and introduction

      In this section we will introduce you how to establish and scale up COVID-19 molecular diagnostic testing

    • Safe specimen collection, transport and testing

      Learn how to how to collect, transport and test specimens safely

    • Testing on open molecular platforms

      Learn how to select open platform tests for COVID-19 molecular testing

    • Testing on closed molecular platforms

      Learn how to select closed platform tests for COVID-19 molecular testing

    • Ensuring quality and impact of COVID-19 testing

      Learn how to ensure testing for COVID-19 is of a high quality and how to test results for patient management

    • End of Week 2

      Test your knowledge on COVID-19 molecular diagnostics

  • Week 3

    Immunoassays and lessons learned

    • Welcome to Week 3

      In the final week of this course, we will focus on immunoassays for COVID-19

    • Introduction to immunoassays

      In this activity we introduce the immunoassays

    • Role of immunoassays for COVID-19

      In this activity we describe the role of immunoassays

    • Sequencing and data for action

      In this article, we explore how diagnostic data can be used to inform key decisions in the COVID-19 response

    • Wrap up and next steps

      In this last article, we reflect on the course and lessons learned from COVID-19 pandemic

When would you like to start?

Start straight away and learn at your own pace. If the course hasn’t started yet you’ll see the future date listed below.

  • Available now

Learning on this course

You can take this self-guided course and learn at your own pace. On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Identify different types of diagnostics for COVID-19 testing, explore their current use in the COVID-19 response to better understand how they can be implemented in your country
  • Engage with your peers and learn how countries are scaling up testing capacity while exploring key considerations to inform your country planning and implementation
  • Identify key technical and operational considerations for testing and how to apply them to your setting to ensure safe and quality-assured testing services
  • Develop an understanding of global recommendations on use of COVID-19 diagnostics and testing strategies

Who is the course for?

This course is designed for professionals involved in the testing and diagnosis of COVID-19, with a focus on low- and middle-income settings.

This may include Ministry of Health officials, laboratory managers, laboratory technologists and technicians, clinicians, programme managers, implementing partners and others involved in laboratory testing for COVID-19.

Who will you learn with?

Virologist and Molecular Biologist. CEO of Global Health Impact Group. US coordinator of activities for the LSHTM International Diagnostics Centre.

A Molecular Biologist/Virologist currently leading the Laboratory Systems Strengthening Community of Practice (LabCoP) at ASLM.

I work at FIND, the Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics, based in Cape Town, South Africa. I support the uptake and appropriate use of diagnostics to achieve impact.

Who developed the course?

Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics

FIND is a global non-profit organization that drives innovation in the development and delivery of diagnostics to combat major diseases affecting the world’s poorest populations. We turn complex diagnostic challenges into simple solutions through unique partnerships with the public, private and non-profit sectors. FIND is working closely with partners including the World Health Organization in support of the global effort to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.

African Society for Laboratory Medicine

The African Society for Laboratory Medicine is an independent, non-profit organisation founded in 2011 that coordinates, galvanises and mobilises relevant stakeholders from the local to international levels to improve local access to world-class diagnostic services and ensure healthy African communities. ASLM is the first pan-African society for laboratory professionals, endorsed by the African Union and supported by multiple African Ministers of Health through its Ministerial Call for Action.

London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine

The London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine is a world leader in research and postgraduate education in public and global health. Its mission is to improve health and health equity worldwide.

Learning on FutureLearn

Your learning, your rules

  • Courses are split into weeks, activities, and steps, but you can complete them as quickly or slowly as you like
  • Learn through a mix of bite-sized videos, long- and short-form articles, audio, and practical activities
  • Stay motivated by using the Progress page to keep track of your step completion and assessment scores

Join a global classroom

  • Experience the power of social learning, and get inspired by an international network of learners
  • Share ideas with your peers and course educators on every step of the course
  • Join the conversation by reading, @ing, liking, bookmarking, and replying to comments from others

Map your progress

  • As you work through the course, use notifications and the Progress page to guide your learning
  • Whenever you’re ready, mark each step as complete, you’re in control
  • Complete 90% of course steps and all of the assessments to earn your certificate

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