SARS-CoV-2 antigen tests used at the point-of-care, such as the Abbott Panbio, have great potential to help combat the COVID-19 pandemic . The Panbio is Health Canada approved for the detection of SARS-CoV-2 in symptomatic individuals within the first 7 days of COVID-19 symptom onset (s). Symptomatic adults recently diagnosed with COVID-19 in the community were recruited into the study . Paired nasopharyngeal (NP), throat, and saliva swabs were collected, with one paired swab tested immediately with the Panbio, and the other transported in universal transport media and tested using real-time reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). We also prospectively evaluated results from assessment centers within the community . For those individuals, an NP swab was collected for Panbio testing and paired with RT-PCR results from parallel NP or throat swabs . One hundred and forty-five individuals were included in the study . Collection of throat and saliva was stopped early due to poorer performance (throat sensitivity 57.7%, n=61, and saliva sensitivity 2.6%, n=41). NP swab sensitivity was 87.7% [n=145 , 95% confidence interval (CI) 81.0-92.7 %]. There were 1641 symptomatic individuals tested by Panbio in assessment centers with 268/1641 (16.3 %) positive for SARS-CoV-2 . There were 37 false negatives and 2 false positives, corresponding to a sensitivity and specificity of 86.1% [95% CI 81.3-90.0 %] and 99.9% [95% CI 99.5-100.0 %], respectively . The Panbio test reliably detects most cases of SARS-CoV-2 from adults in the community setting presenting within 7 days of symptom onset using nasopharyngeal swabs . Throat and saliva swabs are not reliable specimens for the Panbio.
Index: Antigen, COVID-19, Panbio, Point of care testing (POCT), Rapid diagnostics, SARS-CoV-2