Low performance of rapid antigen detection test as frontline testing for COVID-19 diagnosis
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Background: Ensuring accurate diagnosis is essential to limit the spread of SARS-CoV-2 and for the clinical management of COVID-19. Although real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT- qPCR) is the current recommended laboratory method to diagnose SARS-CoV-2 acute infection, several factors such as requirement of special equipment and skilled staff limit the use of these time-consuming molecular techniques. Recently, several easy to perform rapid antigen detection tests were developed and recommended in some countries as the first line of diagnostic. Objectives: The aim of this study was to evaluate the performances of the Coris COVID-19 Ag Respi-Strip test, a rapid immunochromatographic test for the detection of SARS-CoV-2 antigen, in comparison to RT-qPCR. Results: 148 nasopharyngeal swabs were tested. Amongst the 106 positive RT-qPCR samples, 32 were detected by the rapid antigen test, given an overall sensitivity of 30.2%. All the samples detected positive with the antigen rapid test were also positive with RT-qPCR. Conclusions: Higher viral loads are associated with better antigen detection rates. Unfortunately, the overall poor sensitivity of the COVID-19 Ag Respi-Strip does not allow using it alone as the frontline testing for COVID-19 diagnosis.
Link to resourcehttps://doi.org/10.1016/j.jcv.2020.104455
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