Apr 25, 2020

Comparison of Cepheid Xpert Xpress and Abbott ID Now to Roche cobas for the Rapid Detection of SARS-CoV-2

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Alexandra WestbrookDaniel Green


The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has created an urgent and unprecedented need for rapid large-scale diagnostic testing to inform timely patient management. This study compared two recently-authorized rapid tests, Cepheid Xpert Xpress SARS-CoV-2 and Abbott ID Now SARS-CoV-2 to the Roche cobas SARS-CoV-2 assay. A total of 113 nasopharyngeal swabs were tested, including 88 positives spanning the full range of observed Ct values on the cobas assay. Compared to cobas, the overall positive agreement was 73.9% with ID Now and 98.9% with Xpert. Negative agreement was 100% and 92.0% for ID Now and Xpert, respectively. Both ID Now and Xpert showed 100% positive agreement for medium and high viral concentrations (Ct value <30). However, for Ct values >30, positive agreement was 34.3% for ID Now and 97.1% for Xpert. These findings highlight an important limitation of ID Now for specimens collected in viral or universal transport media with low viral concentrations. Further studies are needed to evaluate the performance of ID Now for direct swabs.

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