A research study of close contacts of individuals with COVID-19 in Brazil finds that POC rapid antigen tests for SARS-CoV-2 are highly versatile and useful tools for combatting the COVID-19 pandemic. The study demonstrates the near immediate time-to-result of POC rapid antigen tests significantly offsets reduced sensitivity by enabling early identification of positive cases and decreasing onward viral transmission. In settings where RT-PCR is unavailable due to financial or infrastructure limitations, or where time-to-results is >4 days, close to 90% of individuals with Ct<34 could benefit from an earlier result via a POC test. Even in settings where PCR results are available within 24 hours, cumulative sensitivity of a POC test is >70%.
Publication date: February 2022