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Performance of Three Tests for SARS-CoV-2 on a University Campus Estimated Jointly with Bayesian Latent Class Modeling.

Abstract

Testing for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has been vitally important during the COVID-19 pandemic. There are a variety of methods for testing for this virus, and it is important to understand their accuracy in choosing which one might be best suited for a given application. To estimate the accuracy of three different testing methods, we used a data set collected at a university that involved testing the same samples with multiple tests. Unlike most other estimates of test accuracy, we did not assume that one test was perfect but instead allowed for some degree of inaccuracy in all testing methods. We found that molecular tests performed on saliva samples at a university facility were similarly accurate as molecular tests performed on nasal samples at a commercial facility. An antigen test appeared somewhat less accurate than the molecular tests, but there was high uncertainty about that.

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