Patient-Performed Rapid Antigen Tests Reliable for COVID-19

Accuracy of self- and clinician-performed rapid antigen tests appears to be similar
Patient-Performed Rapid Antigen Tests Reliable for COVID-19
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FRIDAY, Feb. 16, 2024 (HealthDay News) -- Patient-performed rapid antigen tests (RATs) are reliable for COVID-19, with comparable sensitivity and specificity to clinician-performed RATs, according to a study published online Feb. 14 in Microbiology Spectrum.

Mary Jane E. Vaeth, from the Baltimore Convention Center Field Hospital, and colleagues conducted a single-center study to assess the accuracy of self-performed RATs for COVID-19. The self-administered BinaxNOW RATs were compared to clinician-performed RATs and against laboratory molecular testing as the gold standard.

The researchers found that 14.9 percent of the 953 participants were positive for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 as determined by reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction. For both self- and clinician-performed RATs, sensitivity and specificity were similar (sensitivity: 83.9 and 88.2 percent, respectively; specificity: 99.8 and 99.6 percent, respectively). Similar results were obtained in subgroup comparisons based on age and race. Of the positive results, 5.2 percent were potentially missed due to participant misinterpretation of the self-test card. The accuracy of the false-positive rate for RATs was comparable to that of clinician-administered tests.

"Our study's findings provide strong evidence of the accuracy of patient-performed RATs, highlighting their equivalent accuracy to clinician-performed RATs," the authors write.

Abstract/Full Text

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