Real World Performance of SARS-CoV-2 Antigen Rapid Diagnostic Tests in Various Clinical Settings.


We obtained 5172 samples from 4595 individuals, who had both Ag-RDT and quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR) results available. Of these, 485 samples were positive by qRT-PCR. The positive percent agreement (PPA) of Ag-RDT was greater for lower cycle threshold (Ct) values, reaching 93% in cases where Ct-value was <25 and 85% where Ct-value was <30. PPA was similar between symptomatic and asymptomatic individuals. We observed a significant correlation between Ct-value and time from infection onset (p<0.001).

Ag-RDT are highly sensitive to the infectious stage of COVID-19 manifested by either high viral load (lower Ct) or proximity to infection, whether patient is symptomatic or asymptomatic. Thus, this simple-to-use and inexpensive detection method can be used as a decision support tool in various in-hospital clinical settings, assisting patient flow and maintaining sufficient hospital staffing.

Ag-RDTs' performance was assessed in three clinical settings: 1. Symptomatic patients and HCW presenting at the Emergency Departments 2. Asymptomatic patients screened upon hospitalization 3. HCW of all sectors tested at the HCW clinic following exposure.

To assess the validity of Antigen rapid diagnostic tests (Ag-RDT) for SARS-CoV-2 as decision support tool in various hospital-based clinical settings.

Retrospective cohort study among symptomatic and asymptomatic patients and Healthcare workers (HCW).

A large tertiary teaching medical center serving as a major COVID-19 hospitalizing facility.

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