Making sense of rapid antigen testing in severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) diagnostics.

Camilla MattiuzziGiuseppe Lippi


Although the most effective strategy for preventing or containing severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) outbreaks relies on early diagnosis, the paramount and unprecedented number of tests needed to fully achieve this target is overwhelming worldwide testing supply and capacity. Molecular detection of SARS-CoV-2 RNA in nasopharyngeal swabs is still considered the reference diagnostic approach. Nonetheless, identification of SARS-CoV-2 proteins in upper respiratory tract specimens and/or saliva by means of rapid (antigen) immunoassays is emerging as a promising screening approach. These tests have some advantages compared to molecular analysis, such as point of care availability, no need of skilled personnel and dedicated instrumentation, lower costs and short turnaround time. However, these advantages are counterbalanced by lower diagnostic sensitivity compared to molecular testing, which would only enable to identifying patients with higher SARS-CoV-2 viral load. The evidence accumulated to-date has hence persuaded us to develop a tentative algorithm, which would magnify the potential benefits of rapid antigen testing in SARS-CoV-2 diagnostics.


May 2, 2020·JAMA Internal Medicine·Hao-Yuan ChengUNKNOWN Taiwan COVID-19 Outbreak Investigation Team
May 13, 2020·Annals of Translational Medicine·Giuseppe LippiBrandon M Henry
Jun 5, 2020·International Journal of Infectious Diseases : IJID : Official Publication of the International Society for Infectious Diseases·Lorena PorteThomas Weitzel
Jun 20, 2020·Nature Medicine·Quan-Xin LongAi-Long Huang
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Aug 28, 2020·The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews·Jacqueline DinnesUNKNOWN Cochrane COVID-19 Diagnostic Test Accuracy Group
Sep 9, 2020·BMJ : British Medical Journal·Gareth Iacobucci
Sep 11, 2020·Clinical Microbiology and Infection : the Official Publication of the European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases·Shuai ZhangYang Jin
Sep 18, 2020·Nature·Giorgia Guglielmi
Sep 26, 2020·The American Journal of Nursing·Betsy Todd
Sep 27, 2020·BMJ : British Medical Journal·Jacqui Thornton
Sep 27, 2020·Clinical Microbiology and Infection : the Official Publication of the European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases·Flora Marzia LiottiBrunella Posteraro
Oct 1, 2020·The New England Journal of Medicine·Michael J MinaDaniel B Larremore
Oct 30, 2020·Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology : the Official Journal of the Society of Hospital Epidemiologists of America·Giuseppe LippiFabian Sanchis-Gomar
Nov 2, 2020·International Journal of Infectious Diseases : IJID : Official Publication of the International Society for Infectious Diseases·Aminah NalumansiPontiano Kaleebu
Nov 2, 2020·Indoor Air·Hua QianYuguo Li

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Feb 9, 2021·Diagnosis·Gian Luca SalvagnoGiuseppe Lippi
Apr 20, 2021·Diagnosis·Giuseppe LippiBrandon M Henry
Apr 29, 2021·Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine : CCLM·Mary Kathryn BohnUNKNOWN IFCC Taskforce on COVID-19

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