Performance characteristics of a rapid SARS-CoV-2 antigen detection assay at a public plaza testing site in San Francisco
Genay O. Pilarowski,
Matthew T Laurie,
Diane V. Havlir,
The CLIAHUB Consortium,
Posted 04 Nov 2020
medRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2020.11.02.20223891
Posted 04 Nov 2020
We evaluated the performance of the Abbott BinaxNOW Covid-19 rapid antigen test to detect virus among persons, regardless of symptoms, at a public plaza site of ongoing community transmission. Titration with cultured clinical SARS-CoV-2 yielded a human observable threshold between 1.6x104-4.3x104 viral RNA copies (cycle threshold (Ct) of 30.3-28.8 in this assay). Among 878 subjects tested, 3% (26/878) were positive by RT-PCR, of which 15/26 had a Ct<30, indicating high viral load. 40% (6/15) of Ct<30 were asymptomatic. Using this Ct<30 threshold for Binax-CoV2 evaluation, the sensitivity of the Binax-CoV2 was 93.3% (14/15), 95% CI: 68.1-99.8%, and the specificity was 99.9% (855/856), 95% CI: 99.4-99.9%.
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