Contribution of Testing Strategies and Contact Tracing towards COVID-19 Outbreaks Control: A Mathematical Modeling Study

Shu Chen Kuo, Byron Fan, Hongye Zhu, Meng Hsuan Wu, Fang Jing Lee, Yu Chieh Cheng, Hsiao Yu Wu, Ya Ting Hsu, Chao A. Hsiung, Shiow Ing Wu, Wei J. Chen, Hung Yi Chiou, Huey Kang Sytwu, Hsiao Hui Tsou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


This modeling study considers different screening strategies, contact tracing, and the severity of novel epidemic outbreaks for various population sizes, providing insight into multinational containment effectiveness of emerging infectious diseases, prior to vaccines development. During the period of the ancestral SARS-Cov-2 virus, contact tracing alone is insufficient to achieve outbreak control. Although universal testing is proposed in multiple nations, its effectiveness accompanied by other measures is rarely examined. Our research investigates the necessity of universal testing when contact tracing and symptomatic screening measures are implemented. We used a stochastic transmission model to simulate COVID-19 transmission, evaluating containment strategies via contact tracing, one-time high risk symptomatic testing, and universal testing. Despite universal testing having the potential to identify subclinical cases, which is crucial for non-pharmaceutical interventions, our model suggests that universal testing only reduces the total number of cases by 0.0009% for countries with low COVID-19 prevalence and 0.025% for countries with high COVID-19 prevalence when rigorous contact tracing and symptomatic screening are also implemented. These findings highlight the effectiveness of testing strategies and contact tracing in reducing COVID-19 cases by identifying subclinical cases.

Original languageEnglish
Article number376
JournalTropical Medicine and Infectious Disease
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2022


  • contact tracing
  • COVID-19
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • symptomatic screening
  • universal testing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Immunology and Microbiology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Infectious Diseases


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