Comparative diagnostic performance of rapid antigen detection tests for COVID-19 in a hospital setting

Bianca Bruzzone, Vanessa De Pace, Patrizia Caligiuri, Valentina Ricucci, Giulia Guarona, Beatrice M. Pennati, Simona Boccotti, Andrea Orsi, Alexander Domnich, Giorgio Da Rin, Giancarlo Icardi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: The availability of accurate and rapid diagnostic tools for COVID-19 is essential for tackling the ongoing pandemic. Our study aimed to quantify the performance of available antigen-detecting rapid diagnostic tests (Ag-RDTs) in a real-world hospital setting. Methods: In this retrospective analysis, the diagnostic performance of 7 Ag-RDTs was compared with real-time reverse transcription quantitative polymerase chain reaction assay in terms of sensitivity, specificity and expected predictive values. Results: A total of 321 matched Ag-RDTreal-time reverse transcription quantitative polymerase chain reaction samples were analyzed retrospectively. The overall sensitivity and specificity of the Ag-RDTs was 78.7% and 100%, respectively. However, a wide range of sensitivity estimates by brand (66.0%–93.8%) and cycle threshold (Ct) cut-off values (Ct <25: 96.2%; Ct 30–35: 31.1%) was observed. The optimal Ct cut-off value that maximized sensitivity was 29. Conclusions: The routine use of Ag-RDTs may be convenient in moderate-to-high intensity settings when high volumes of specimens are tested every day. However, the diagnostic performance of the commercially available tests may differ substantially.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)215-218
Number of pages4
JournalInternational Journal of Infectious Diseases
Volume107
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2021

Keywords

  • COVID-19
  • Italy
  • Rapid antigen detection test
  • SARS-CoV-2

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases

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