We congratulate Michi and Naresh on their first first-author publication

Evaluation of a Rapid Antigen Test To Detect SARS-CoV-2 Infection and Identify Potentially Infectious Individuals.

Korenkov M, Poopalasingam N, Madler M, Vanshylla K, Eggeling R, Wirtz M, Fish I, Dewald F, Gieselmann L, Lehmann C, Fätkenheuer G, Gruell H, Pfeifer N, Heger E, Klein F.

J Clin Microbiol. 2021 Aug 18;59(9):e0089621. doi: 10.1128/JCM.00896-21. Epub 2021 Aug 18. PMID: 34213977 


The identification and isolation of highly infectious SARS-CoV-2-infected individuals is an important public health strategy. Rapid antigen detection tests (RADT) are promising tools for large-scale screenings due to timely results and feasibility for on-site testing. Nonetheless, the diagnostic performance of RADT in detecting infectious individuals is not yet fully determined. In this study, RT-qPCR and virus culture of RT-qPCR-positive samples were used to evaluate and compare the performance of the Standard Q COVID-19 Ag test in detecting SARS-CoV-2-infected and possibly infectious individuals. To this end, two combined oro- and nasopharyngeal swabs were collected at a routine SARS-CoV-2 diagnostic center. A total of 2,028 samples were tested, and 118 virus cultures were inoculated. SARS-CoV-2 infection was detected in 210 samples by RT-qPCR, representing a positive rate of 10.36%. The Standard Q COVID-19 Ag test yielded a positive result in 92 (4.54%) samples resulting in an overall sensitivity and specificity of 42.86 and 99.89%, respectively. For adjusted CT values of <20 (n = 14), <25 (n = 57), and <30 (n = 88), the RADT reached sensitivities of 100, 98.25, and 88.64%, respectively. All 29 culture-positive samples were detected by the RADT. Although the overall sensitivity was low, the Standard Q COVID-19 Ag test reliably detected patients with high RNA loads. In addition, negative RADT results fully corresponded with the lack of viral cultivability in Vero E6 cells. These results indicate that RADT can be a valuable tool for the detection of individuals with high RNA loads that are likely to transmit SARS-CoV-2. J Clin Microbiol. 2021