Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland
Evaluation of Rapid Antigen Tests Using Nasal Samples to Diagnose SARS-CoV-2 in Symptomatic Patients.pdf (273.22 kB)

Evaluation of rapid antigen tests using nasal samples to diagnose SARS-CoV-2 in symptomatic patients

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Version 2 2022-07-15, 11:20
Version 1 2022-02-11, 17:30
journal contribution
posted on 2022-02-11, 17:30 authored by Manaf Alqahtani, Abdulkarim Abdulrahman, Fathi Mustafa, Abdulla I Alawadhi, Batool Alalawi, Saad I Mallah

Introduction: The best way to mitigate an outbreak besides mass vaccination is via early detection and isolation of infected cases. As such, a rapid, cost-effective test for the early detection of COVID-19 is required.

Methods: The study included 4,183 mildly symptomatic patients. A nasal and nasopharyngeal sample obtained from each patient was analyzed to determine the diagnostic ability of the rapid antigen detection test (RADT, nasal swab) in comparison with the current gold-standard (RT-PCR, nasopharyngeal swab).

Results: The calculated sensitivity and specificity of the RADT was 82.1 and 99.1%, respectively. Kappa's coefficient of agreement between the RADT and RT-PCR was 0.859 (p < 0.001). Stratified analysis showed that the sensitivity of the RADT improved significantly when lowering the cut-off RT-PCR Ct value to 24.

Conclusion: Our study's results support the potential use of nasal swab RADT as a screening tool in mildly symptomatic patients, especially in patients with higher viral loads.



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Published Citation

Alqahtani M. et al. Evaluation of rapid antigen tests using nasal samples to diagnose SARS-CoV-2 in symptomatic patients. Front Public Health. 2022;9:728969

Publication Date

14 January 2022

PubMed ID



  • RCSI Bahrain


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  • Published Version (Version of Record)