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1.
PLoS Med ; 19(5): e1004011, 2022 May.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1865332

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Comprehensive information about the accuracy of antigen rapid diagnostic tests (Ag-RDTs) for Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is essential to guide public health decision makers in choosing the best tests and testing policies. In August 2021, we published a systematic review and meta-analysis about the accuracy of Ag-RDTs. We now update this work and analyze the factors influencing test sensitivity in further detail. METHODS AND FINDINGS: We registered the review on PROSPERO (registration number: CRD42020225140). We systematically searched preprint and peer-reviewed databases for publications evaluating the accuracy of Ag-RDTs for SARS-CoV-2 until August 31, 2021. Descriptive analyses of all studies were performed, and when more than 4 studies were available, a random-effects meta-analysis was used to estimate pooled sensitivity and specificity with reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) testing as a reference. To evaluate factors influencing test sensitivity, we performed 3 different analyses using multivariable mixed-effects meta-regression models. We included 194 studies with 221,878 Ag-RDTs performed. Overall, the pooled estimates of Ag-RDT sensitivity and specificity were 72.0% (95% confidence interval [CI] 69.8 to 74.2) and 98.9% (95% CI 98.6 to 99.1). When manufacturer instructions were followed, sensitivity increased to 76.3% (95% CI 73.7 to 78.7). Sensitivity was markedly better on samples with lower RT-PCR cycle threshold (Ct) values (97.9% [95% CI 96.9 to 98.9] and 90.6% [95% CI 88.3 to 93.0] for Ct-values <20 and <25, compared to 54.4% [95% CI 47.3 to 61.5] and 18.7% [95% CI 13.9 to 23.4] for Ct-values ≥25 and ≥30) and was estimated to increase by 2.9 percentage points (95% CI 1.7 to 4.0) for every unit decrease in mean Ct-value when adjusting for testing procedure and patients' symptom status. Concordantly, we found the mean Ct-value to be lower for true positive (22.2 [95% CI 21.5 to 22.8]) compared to false negative (30.4 [95% CI 29.7 to 31.1]) results. Testing in the first week from symptom onset resulted in substantially higher sensitivity (81.9% [95% CI 77.7 to 85.5]) compared to testing after 1 week (51.8%, 95% CI 41.5 to 61.9). Similarly, sensitivity was higher in symptomatic (76.2% [95% CI 73.3 to 78.9]) compared to asymptomatic (56.8% [95% CI 50.9 to 62.4]) persons. However, both effects were mainly driven by the Ct-value of the sample. With regards to sample type, highest sensitivity was found for nasopharyngeal (NP) and combined NP/oropharyngeal samples (70.8% [95% CI 68.3 to 73.2]), as well as in anterior nasal/mid-turbinate samples (77.3% [95% CI 73.0 to 81.0]). Our analysis was limited by the included studies' heterogeneity in viral load assessment and sample origination. CONCLUSIONS: Ag-RDTs detect most of the individuals infected with SARS-CoV-2, and almost all (>90%) when high viral loads are present. With viral load, as estimated by Ct-value, being the most influential factor on their sensitivity, they are especially useful to detect persons with high viral load who are most likely to transmit the virus. To further quantify the effects of other factors influencing test sensitivity, standardization of clinical accuracy studies and access to patient level Ct-values and duration of symptoms are needed.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19 Testing , Humans , Point-of-Care Systems , Sensitivity and Specificity
2.
Infection ; 2022 Apr 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1783014

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: The objective of this study was to develop a scalable approach for direct comparison of the analytical sensitivities of commercially available SARS-CoV-2 antigen point-of-care tests (AgPOCTs) to rapidly identify poor-performing products. METHODS: We present a methodology for quick assessment of the sensitivity of SARS-CoV-2 AgPOCTs suitable for quality evaluation of many different products. We established reference samples with high, medium, and low SARS-CoV-2 viral loads along with a SARS-CoV-2 negative control sample. Test samples were used to semi-quantitatively assess the analytical sensitivities of 32 different commercial AgPOCTs in a head-to-head comparison. RESULTS: Among 32 SARS-CoV-2 AgPOCTs tested, we observe sensitivity differences across a broad range of viral loads (9.8 × 108 to 1.8 × 105 SARS-CoV-2 genome copies per ml). 23 AgPOCTs detected the Ct25 test sample (1.6 × 106 copies/ml), while only five tests detected the Ct28 test sample (1.8 × 105 copies/ml). In the low-range of analytical sensitivity, we found three saliva spit tests only delivering positive results for the Ct21 sample (2.7 × 107 copies/ml). Comparison with published data supports our AgPOCT ranking. Importantly, we identified an AgPOCT widely offered, which did not reliably recognize the sample with the highest viral load (Ct16 test sample with 9.8 × 108 copies/ml) leading to serious doubts about its usefulness in SARS-CoV-2 diagnostics. CONCLUSION: The results show that the rapid sensitivity assessment procedure presented here provides useful estimations on the analytical sensitivities of 32 AgPOCTs and identified a widely-spread AgPOCT with concerningly low sensitivity.

5.
SSRN; 2022.
Preprint in English | SSRN | ID: ppcovidwho-332348

ABSTRACT

Background: Access to RT-PCR testing, the gold standard for SARS-CoV-2 detection, is limited throughout the world, due to restricted resources, available infrastructure, and high costs. Antigen-detecting, rapid diagnostic tests (Ag-RDTs) overcome some of these barriers, but independent clinical validations in settings of intended use are scarce. To inform the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) emergency use listing (EUL) procedure and ensure affordable, high-quality Ag-RDTs, we assessed the performance and ease-of-use of the SureStatus for SARS-CoV-2. Methods: This prospective, multi-center diagnostic accuracy study recruited unvaccinated participants with presumed SARS-CoV-2 infection in India and Germany from Dec 2019 to Mar 2021 when predominantly alpha (B.1.1.7) variant was circulating. Paired swabs were performed for (i) routine clinical RT-PCR testing (sampling was either nasopharyngeal (NP), or NP/OP combined) and (ii) for Ag-RDT (sampling was nasopharyngeal (NP)). Performance of the Ag-RDT was compared to RT-PCR overall, and according to predefined subgroups e.g., cycle threshold (Ct)-value, symptoms, and days from symptom onset. To understand usability, a System Usability Scale (SUS) questionnaire and ease-of-use (EoU) assessment were performed. Findings: A total of 1119 participants were included in the analysis of whom 205 (18·3%) were RT-PCR positive. SureStatus detected 169 out of 205 RT-PCR positive participants, reporting a sensitivity of 82·4% (95% CI: 76·6%-87·1%) and a specificity of 98·5% (95% CI: 97·4%-99·1%). In the first 7 days post symptom onset sensitivity was 90·7% (95% CI: 83·5%-94·9%). The test was characterized as easy to use (SUS: 85/100) and considered suitable for point-of-care settings although quality concerns were raised due to visibly contaminated packaging of swabs included in the test kits. Interpretation: The SureStatus diagnostic test can be considered a reliable test in the first week of SARS-CoV-2 infection with high sensitivity in combination with excellent usability.

7.
SSM Qual Res Health ; 2: 100070, 2022 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1757847

ABSTRACT

Although a majority of SARS-COV-2 diagnosis are asymptomatic, presymptimatic or minimally symptomatic, little has been described and understood about the illness careers of these individuals. This study explored the lived experience of a SARS-COV-2 diagnosis and subsequent quarantine among individuals in Germany who were diagnosed with SARS-COV-2 during the second wave of the pandemic (late 2020-early 2021), but whose diagnosis was unexpected due to a lack of a known contact, or the asymptomatic nature of their case at the time of diagnosis. In-depth interviews (n â€‹= â€‹22) were conducted by phone or video call, audio-recorded, and transcribed verbatim. Routine debriefings guided data collection and facilitated analysis, which followed a framework approach. Regardless of age, gender or socioeconomic status, data consistently demonstrated a diagnosis and quarantine career marked by five emotional phases: overconfidence, shock and denial, coming to grips and asking questions, enduring, and cautious optimism as quarantine ended. These experiences suggest that providing trustworthy, easily accessible information regarding certain key aspects of the post diagnosis and quarantine period could benefit patients in terms of reducing stress, understanding the consequences of a diagnosis and mitigating foreseeable challenges in terms of personal, logistical and emotional issues. Follow-up research with providers and public health bureaus could inform how to best tailor such messaging for clients who experience an unexpected diagnosis.

8.
Health Econ Rev ; 12(1): 15, 2022 Feb 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1690875

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Antigen-based rapid diagnostic tests (Ag-RDT) have been implemented in hospitals and nursing homes to screen for infectious individuals without symptoms suggestive of SARS-CoV-2 infections and to prevent entry into these high-risk settings. Despite their benefits for screening, the cost of large-scale implementation is largely understudied. Our study presents evidence on their implementation costs in high-risk settings. This study aimed to estimate the economic costs of implementing Ag-RDT-based screening for SARS-CoV-2 in two tertiary care hospitals (University Hospital Heidelberg - UKHD, and Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin) and one nursing home in Germany. METHODS: We adopted a health system perspective and followed the three sequential steps to costing: identification of resources, measurement of resource consumption, and valuation of costs. Data on resource consumption were collected between October 2020 and April 2021 through various techniques and data sources. The cost estimation considered all costs along the screening algorithm including PCR confirmation tests for positive cases. We estimated the costs for the two implementation modalities observed: staff dedicated exclusively to screening and staff not dedicated exclusively to screening. Furthermore, cost estimations were performed under both observed capacity use and hypothetical capacity use assumptions (60, 80 and 100%). RESULTS: Our study indicates that the average cost per Ag-RDT is highly dependent on the capacity use and implementation mode. Staff time and test kits are the two main cost drivers of implementing the large-scale screening programs for SARS-CoV-2 using Ag-RDTs. For hospitals, the average cost per test in UKHD was €30.12 (capacity observed); €14.56 (non-dedicated mode); €19.47, €16.37, €14.53 at 60, 80, 100% capacity respectively (dedicated mode); and at Charité €13.10 (non-dedicated mode). For the nursing home the estimated average cost per test was €15.03 (non-dedicated mode). CONCLUSIONS: The information on the estimated costs by mode of implementation and capacity use may support the planning of Ag-RDT-based covid-19 screening programs suitable for each institution. Further research is needed to cost this screening strategy for COVID-19 in other high-risk, high-income settings to reach generalizability.

9.
EuropePMC;
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-327632

ABSTRACT

Background: Comprehensive information about the accuracy of antigen rapid diagnostic tests (Ag-RDTs) for SARS-CoV-2 is essential to guide public health decision makers in choosing the best tests and testing policies. In August 2021, we published a systematic review and meta-analysis about the accuracy of Ag-RDTs. We now update this work and analyze the factors influencing test sensitivity in further detail. Methods and findings We registered the review on PROSPERO (registration number: CRD42020225140). We systematically searched multiple databases (PubMed, Web of Science Core Collection, medRvix, bioRvix, and FIND) for publications evaluating the accuracy of Ag-RDTs for SARS-CoV-2 until August 31, 2021. Descriptive analyses of all studies were performed, and when more than 4 studies were available, a random-effects meta-analysis was used to estimate pooled sensitivity and specificity with reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) testing as a reference. To evaluate factors influencing test sensitivity, we performed 3 different analyses using multivariate mixed-effects meta-regression models. We included 194 studies with 221,878 Ag-RDTs performed. Overall, the pooled estimates of Ag-RDT sensitivity and specificity were 72.0% (95% confidence interval [CI] 69.8 to 74.2) and 98.9% (95% CI 98.6 to 99.1), respectively. When manufacturer instructions were followed, sensitivity increased to 76.4% (95%CI 73.8 to 78.8). Sensitivity was markedly better on samples with lower RT-PCR cycle threshold (Ct) values (sensitivity of 97.9% [95% CI 96.9 to 98.9] and 90.6% [95% CI 88.3 to 93.0] for Ct-values <20 and <25, compared to 54.4% [95% CI 47.3 to 61.5] and 18.7% [95% CI 13.9 to 23.4] for Ct-values ≥25 and ≥30) and was estimated to increase by 2.9 percentage points (95% CI 1.7 to 4.0) for every unit decrease in mean Ct-value when adjusting for testing procedure and patients symptom status. Concordantly, we found the mean Ct-value to be lower for true positive (22.2 [95% CI 21.5 to 22.8]) compared to false negative (30.4 [95% CI 29.7 to 31.1]) results. Testing in the first week from symptom onset resulted in substantially higher sensitivity (81.9% [95% CI 77.7 to 85.5]) compared to testing after 1 week (51.8%, 95% CI 41.5 to 61.9). Similarly, sensitivity was higher in symptomatic (76.2% [95% CI 73.3 to 78.9]) compared to asymptomatic (56.8% [95% CI 50.9 to 62.4]) persons. However, both effects were mainly driven by the Ct-value of the sample. With regards to sample type, highest sensitivity was found for nasopharyngeal (NP) and combined NP/oropharyngeal samples (70.8% [95% CI 68.3 to 73.2]), as well as in anterior nasal/mid-turbinate samples (77.3% [95% CI 73.0 to 81.0]). Conclusion Ag-RDTs detect most of the individuals infected with SARS-CoV-2, and almost all when high viral loads are present (>90%). With viral load, as estimated by Ct-value, being the most influential factor on their sensitivity, they are especially useful to detect persons with high viral load who are most likely to transmit the virus. To further quantify the effects of other factors influencing test sensitivity, standardization of clinical accuracy studies and access to patient level Ct-values and duration of symptoms are needed.

11.
EBioMedicine ; 75: 103774, 2022 Jan.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1587927

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Antigen-detecting rapid diagnostic tests (Ag-RDTs) for SARS-CoV-2 are important diagnostic tools. We assessed clinical performance and ease-of-use of seven Ag-RDTs in a prospective, manufacturer-independent, multi-centre cross-sectional diagnostic accuracy study to inform global decision makers. METHODS: Unvaccinated participants suspected of a first SARS-CoV-2 infection were recruited at six sites (Germany, Brazil). Ag-RDTs were evaluated sequentially, with collection of paired swabs for routine reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) testing and Ag-RDT testing. Performance was compared to RT-PCR overall and in sub-group analyses (viral load, symptoms, symptoms duration). To understandusability a System Usability Scale (SUS) questionnaire and ease-of-use (EoU) assessment were performed. FINDINGS: 7471 participants were included in the analysis. Sensitivities across Ag-RDTs ranged from 70·4%-90·1%, specificities were above 97·2% for all Ag-RDTs but one (93·1%).Ag-RDTs, Mologic, Bionote, Standard Q, showed diagnostic accuracy in line with WHO targets (> 80% sensitivity, > 97% specificity). All tests showed high sensitivity in the first three days after symptom onset (≥87·1%) and in individuals with viral loads≥ 6 log10SARS-CoV2 RNA copies/mL (≥ 88·7%). Usability varied, with Rapigen, Bionote and Standard Q reaching very good scores; 90, 88 and 84/100, respectively. INTERPRETATION: Variability in test performance is partially explained by variable viral loads in population evaluated over the course of the pandemic. All Ag-RDTs reach high sensitivity early in the disease and in individuals with high viral loads, supporting their role in identifying transmission relevant infections. For easy-to-use tests, performance shown will likely be maintained in routine implementation. FUNDING: Ministry of Science, Research and Arts, State of Baden-Wuerttemberg, Germany, internal funds from Heidelberg University Hospital, University Hospital Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin, UK Department of International Development, WHO, Unitaid.


Subject(s)
Antigens, Viral/immunology , COVID-19 Serological Testing , COVID-19 , Point-of-Care Systems , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Adult , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/immunology , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Sensitivity and Specificity
12.
BMJ Paediatr Open ; 5(1): e001262, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1484038

ABSTRACT

Background: Over the course of the pandemic, many countries have repeatedly closed schools and shifted schoolchildren to remote learning. However, evidence for negative mental and physiological health consequences of such measures for schoolchildren is increasing, highlighting the need for evidence-based recommendations on how to safely reopen schools. This study aims to assess implementation experiences, acceptability and feasibility of opt-in, at-home SARS-CoV-2 screening using rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) to facilitate safe face-to-face teaching during a pandemic. Methods: We present data from a prospective study implementing an RDT-based screening programme at a primary school in southwest Germany. In addition to quantitative data collected to assess screening diagnostic yield (number of participants, tests handed out to participants, positive RDT results reported), we conducted qualitative in-depth interviews with participating pupils, parents and school stakeholders to elicit implementation experiences and screening perceptions. Results: The screening intervention was highly accepted and appreciated among participants; no screening-associated positive RDT was reported over the duration of the study. Self-testing at home before coming to school was feasible, but more positive consequences of screening participation (eg, easing of mask mandates) besides a personal feeling of safety would have been appreciated across respondent groups. Participants preferred home-based RDTs over some other measures, particularly mask mandates. Despite the RDTs being licensed as self-tests in Germany, additional training can help avoid mistakes, and ensuring intervention ownership and improving pre-implementation communication can facilitate buy-in. Conclusions: Antigen-RDT-based SARS-CoV-2 screening programmes relying on self-testing at home are a feasible and acceptable supplement to the public health toolbox to facilitate a safe return to face-to-face teaching at schools. Trial registration number: DRKS00024845.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Child , Germany , Humans , Prospective Studies , Schools
13.
Trials ; 22(1): 656, 2021 Sep 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1440949

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: To achieve higher effectiveness in population-based SARS-CoV-2 surveillance and to reliably predict the course of an outbreak, screening, and monitoring of infected individuals without major symptoms (about 40% of the population) will be necessary. While current testing capacities are also used to identify such asymptomatic cases, this rather passive approach is not suitable in generating reliable population-based estimates of the prevalence of asymptomatic carriers to allow any dependable predictions on the course of the pandemic. METHODS: This trial implements a two-factorial, randomized, controlled, multi-arm, prospective, interventional, single-blinded design with cluster sampling and four study arms, each representing a different SARS-CoV-2 testing and surveillance strategy based on individuals' self-collection of saliva samples which are then sent to and analyzed by a laboratory. The targeted sample size for the trial is 10,000 saliva samples equally allocated to the four study arms (2500 participants per arm). Strategies differ with respect to tested population groups (individuals vs. all household members) and testing approach (without vs. with pre-screening survey). The trial is complemented by an economic evaluation and qualitative assessment of user experiences. Primary outcomes include costs per completely screened person, costs per positive case, positive detection rate, and precision of positive detection rate. DISCUSSION: Systems for active surveillance of the general population will gain more importance in the context of pandemics and related disease prevention efforts. The pandemic parameters derived from such active surveillance with routine population monitoring therefore not only enable a prospective assessment of the short-term course of a pandemic, but also a more targeted and thus more effective use of local and short-term countermeasures. TRIAL REGISTRATION: ClinicalTrials.gov DRKS00023271 . Registered November 30, 2020, with the German Clinical Trials Register (Deutsches Register Klinischer Studien).


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19 Testing , Cost-Benefit Analysis , Humans , Population Groups , Prospective Studies , Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic , Treatment Outcome
14.
Trials ; 22(1): 39, 2021 Jan 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1440947

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: In this cluster-randomised controlled study (CoV-Surv Study), four different "active" SARS-CoV-2 testing strategies for general population surveillance are evaluated for their effectiveness in determining and predicting the prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 infections in a given population. In addition, the costs and cost-effectiveness of the four surveillance strategies will be assessed. Further, this trial is supplemented by a qualitative component to determine the acceptability of each strategy. Findings will inform the choice of the most effective, acceptable and affordable strategy for SARS-CoV-2 surveillance, with the most effective and cost-effective strategy becoming part of the local public health department's current routine health surveillance activities. Investigating its everyday performance will allow us to examine the strategy's applicability to real time prevalence prediction and the usefulness of the resulting information for local policy makers to implement countermeasures that effectively prevent future nationwide lockdowns. The authors would like to emphasize the importance and relevance of this study and its expected findings in the context of population-based disease surveillance, especially in respect to the current SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. In Germany, but also in many other countries, COVID-19 surveillance has so far largely relied on passive surveillance strategies that identify individuals with clinical symptoms, monitor those cases who then tested positive for the virus, followed by tracing of individuals in close contact to those positive cases. To achieve higher effectiveness in population surveillance and to reliably predict the course of an outbreak, screening and monitoring of infected individuals without major symptoms (about 40% of the population) will be necessary. While current testing capacities are also used to identify such asymptomatic cases, this rather passive approach is not suitable in generating reliable population-based estimates of the prevalence of asymptomatic carriers to allow any dependable predictions on the course of the pandemic. To better control and manage the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, current strategies therefore need to be complemented by an active surveillance of the wider population, i.e. routinely conducted testing and monitoring activities to identify and isolate infected individuals regardless of their clinical symptoms. Such active surveillance strategies will enable more effective prevention of the spread of the virus as they can generate more precise population-based parameters during a pandemic. This essential information will be required in order to determine the best strategic and targeted short-term countermeasures to limit infection spread locally. TRIAL DESIGN: This trial implements a cluster-randomised, two-factorial controlled, prospective, interventional, single-blinded design with four study arms, each representing a different SARS-CoV-2 testing and surveillance strategy. PARTICIPANTS: Eligible are individuals age 7 years or older living in Germany's Rhein-Neckar Region who consent to provide a saliva sample (all four arms) after completion of a brief questionnaire (two arms only). For the qualitative component, different samples of study participants and non-participants (i.e. eligible for study, but refuse to participate) will be identified for additional interviews. For these interviews, only individuals age 18 years or older are eligible. INTERVENTION AND COMPARATOR: Of the four surveillance strategies to be assessed and compared, Strategy A1 is considered the gold standard for prevalence estimation and used to determine bias in other arms. To determine the cost-effectiveness, each strategy is compared to status quo, defined as the currently practiced passive surveillance approach. Strategy A1: Individuals (one per household) receive information and study material by mail with instructions on how to produce a saliva sample and how to return the sample by mail. Once received by the laboratory, the sample is tested for SARS-CoV-2 using Reverse Transcription Loop-mediated Isothermal Amplification (RT-LAMP). Strategy A2: Individuals (one per household) receive information and study material by mail with instructions on how to produce their own as well as saliva samples from each household member and how to return these samples by mail. Once received by the laboratory, the samples are tested for SARS-CoV-2 using RT-LAMP. Strategy B1: Individuals (one per household) receive information by mail on how to complete a brief pre-screening questionnaire which asks about COVID-19 related clinical symptoms and risk exposures. Only individuals whose pre-screening score crosses a defined threshold, will then receive additional study material by mail with instructions on how to produce a saliva sample and how to return the sample by mail. Once received by the laboratory, the saliva sample is tested for SARS-CoV-2 using RT-LAMP. Strategy B2: Individuals (one per household) receive information by mail on how to complete a brief pre-screening questionnaire which asks about COVID-19 related clinical symptoms. Only individuals whose pre-screening score crosses a defined threshold, will then receive additional study material by mail with instructions how to produce their own as well as saliva samples from each household member and how to return these samples by mail. Once received by the laboratory, the samples are tested for SARS-CoV-2 using RT-LAMP. In each strategy, RT-LAMP positive samples are additionally analyzed with qPCR in order to minimize the number of false positives. MAIN OUTCOMES: The identification of the one best strategy will be determined by a set of parameters. Primary outcomes include costs per correctly screened person, costs per positive case, positive detection rate, and precision of positive detection rate. Secondary outcomes include participation rate, costs per asymptomatic case, prevalence estimates, number of asymptomatic cases per study arm, ratio of symptomatic to asymptomatic cases per study arm, participant satisfaction. Additional study components (not part of the trial) include cost effectiveness of each of the four surveillance strategies compared to passive monitoring (i.e. status quo), development of a prognostic model to predict hospital utilization caused by SARS-CoV-2, time from test shipment to test application and time from test shipment to test result, and perception and preferences of the persons to be tested with regard to test strategies. RANDOMISATION: Samples are drawn in three batches of three continuous weeks. Randomisation follows a two-stage process. First, a total of 220 sampling points have been allocated to the three different batches. To obtain an integer solution, the Cox-algorithm for controlled rounding has been used. Afterwards, sample points have been drawn separately per batch, following a probability proportional to size (PPS) random sample. Second, for each cluster the same number of residential addresses is randomly sampled from the municipal registries (self-weighted sample of individuals). The 28,125 addresses drawn per municipality are then randomly allocated to the four study arms A1, A2, B1, and B2 in the ratio 5 to 2.5 to 14 to 7 based on the expected response rates in each arm and the sensitivity and specificity of the pre-screening tool as applied in strategy B1 and B2. Based on the assumptions, this allocation should yield 2500 saliva samples in each strategy. Although a municipality can be sampled by multiple batches and the overall number of addresses per municipality might vary, the number of addresses contacted in each arm is kept constant. BLINDING (MASKING): The design is single-blinded, meaning the staff conducting the SARS-CoV-2 tests are unaware of the study arm assignment of each single participant and test sample. SAMPLE SIZES: Total sample size for the trial is 10,000 saliva samples equally allocated to the four study arms (i.e. 2,500 participants per arm). For the qualitative component, up to 60 in-depth interviews will be conducted with about 30 study participants (up to 15 in each arm A and B) and 30 participation refusers (up to 15 in each arm A and B) purposefully selected from the quantitative study sample to represent a variety of gender and ages to explore experiences with admission or rejection of study participation. Up to 25 asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 positive study participants will be purposefully selected to explore the way in which asymptomatic men and women diagnosed with SARS-CoV-2 give meaning to their diagnosis and to the dialectic between feeling concurrently healthy and yet also being at risk for transmitting COVID-19. In addition, 100 randomly selected study participants will be included to explore participants' perspective on testing processes and implementation. TRIAL STATUS: Final protocol version is "Surveillance_Studienprotokoll_03Nov2020_v1_2" from November 3, 2020. Recruitment started November 18, 2020 and is expected to end by or before December 31, 2020. TRIAL REGISTRATION: The trial is currently being registered with the German Clinical Trials Register (Deutsches Register Klinischer Studien), DRKS00023271 ( https://www.drks.de/drks_web/navigate.do?navigationId=trial . HTML&TRIAL_ID=DRKS00023271). Retrospectively registered 30 November 2020. FULL PROTOCOL: The full protocol is attached as an additional file, accessible from the Trials website (Additional file 1). In the interest in expediting dissemination of this material, the familiar formatting has been eliminated; this Letter serves as a summary of the key elements of the full protocol.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing/economics , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/economics , Health Care Costs , Molecular Diagnostic Techniques/economics , Nucleic Acid Amplification Techniques/economics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Saliva/virology , Surveys and Questionnaires/economics , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/virology , Cost-Benefit Analysis , Female , Germany/epidemiology , Humans , Male , Population Surveillance , Predictive Value of Tests , Prevalence , Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic , Reproducibility of Results , Single-Blind Method
15.
PLoS One ; 16(5): e0247918, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1388903

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: Diagnostics are essential for controlling the pandemic. Identifying a reliable and fast diagnostic device is needed for effective testing. We assessed performance and ease-of-use of the Abbott PanBio antigen-detecting rapid diagnostic test (Ag-RDT). METHODS: This prospective, multi-centre diagnostic accuracy study enrolled at two sites in Germany. Following routine testing with reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), a second study-exclusive swab was performed for Ag-RDT testing. Routine swabs were nasopharyngeal (NP) or combined NP/oropharyngeal (OP) whereas the study-exclusive swabs were NP. To evaluate performance, sensitivity and specificity were assessed overall and in predefined sub-analyses accordingly to cycle-threshold values, days after symptom onset, disease severity and study site. Additionally, an ease-of-use assessment (EoU) and System Usability Scale (SUS) were performed. RESULTS: 1108 participants were enrolled between Sept 28 and Oct 30, 2020. Of these, 106 (9.6%) were PCR-positive. The Abbott PanBio detected 92/106 PCR-positive participants with a sensitivity of 86.8% (95% CI: 79.0% - 92.0%) and a specificity of 99.9% (95% CI: 99.4%-100%). The sub-analyses indicated that sensitivity was 95.8% in Ct-values <25 and within the first seven days from symptom onset. The test was characterized as easy to use (SUS: 86/100) and considered suitable for point-of-care settings. CONCLUSION: The Abbott PanBio Ag-RDT performs well for SARS-CoV-2 testing in this large manufacturer independent study, confirming its WHO recommendation for Emergency Use in settings with limited resources.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Serological Testing , COVID-19 , Point-of-Care Testing , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Adult , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/immunology , Female , Germany/epidemiology , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Sensitivity and Specificity , World Health Organization
16.
Med Microbiol Immunol ; 210(4): 181-186, 2021 Aug.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1384439

ABSTRACT

In 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) recommended two SARS-CoV-2 lateral flow antigen-detecting rapid diagnostics tests (Ag-RDTs), both initially with nasopharyngeal (NP) sample collection. Independent head-to-head studies are necessary for SARS-CoV-2 Ag-RDT nasal sampling to demonstrate comparability of performance with nasopharyngeal (NP) sampling. We conducted a head-to-head comparison study of a supervised, self-collected nasal mid-turbinate (NMT) swab and a professional-collected NP swab, using the Panbio™ Ag-RDT (distributed by Abbott). We calculated positive and negative percent agreement between the sampling methods as well as sensitivity and specificity for both sampling techniques compared to the reference standard reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). A SARS-CoV-2 infection could be diagnosed by RT-PCR in 45 of 290 participants (15.5%). Comparing the NMT and NP sampling the positive percent agreement of the Ag-RDT was 88.1% (37/42 PCR positives detected; CI 75.0-94.8%). The negative percent agreement was 98.8% (245/248; CI 96.5-99.6%). The overall sensitivity of Panbio with NMT sampling was 84.4% (38/45; CI 71.2-92.3%) and 88.9% (40/45; CI 76.5-95.5%) with NP sampling. Specificity was 99.2% (243/245; CI 97.1-99.8%) for both, NP and NMT sampling. The sensitivity of the Panbio test in participants with high viral load (> 7 log10 SARS-CoV-2 RNA copies/mL) was 96.3% (CI 81.7-99.8%) for both, NMT and NP sampling. For the Panbio supervised NMT self-sampling yields comparable results to NP sampling. This suggests that nasal self-sampling could be used for to enable scaled-up population testing.Clinical Trial DRKS00021220.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Testing/methods , COVID-19/diagnosis , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Specimen Handling/methods , Adult , Antigens, Viral , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Nasopharynx/virology , RNA, Viral , Sensitivity and Specificity , Viral Load , World Health Organization
17.
Trials ; 21(1): 828, 2020 Oct 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1388814

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: Primary objectives • To assess the time from randomisation until an improvement within 84 days defined as two points on a seven point ordinal scale or live discharge from the hospital in high-risk patients (group 1 to group 4) with SARS-CoV-2 infection requiring hospital admission by infusion of plasma from subjects after convalescence of SARS-CoV-2 infection or standard of care. Secondary objectives • To assess overall survival, and the overall survival rate at 28 56 and 84 days. • To assess SARS-CoV-2 viral clearance and load as well as antibody titres. • To assess the percentage of patients that required mechanical ventilation. • To assess time from randomisation until discharge. TRIAL DESIGN: Randomised, open-label, multicenter phase II trial, designed to assess the clinical outcome of SARS-CoV-2 disease in high-risk patients (group 1 to group 4) following treatment with anti-SARS-CoV-2 convalescent plasma or standard of care. PARTICIPANTS: High-risk patients >18 years of age hospitalized with SARS-CoV-2 infection in 10-15 university medical centres will be included. High-risk is defined as SARS-CoV-2 positive infection with Oxygen saturation at ≤ 94% at ambient air with additional risk features as categorised in 4 groups: • Group 1, pre-existing or concurrent hematological malignancy and/or active cancer therapy (incl. chemotherapy, radiotherapy, surgery) within the last 24 months or less. • Group 2, chronic immunosuppression not meeting the criteria of group 1. • Group 3, age ≥ 50 - 75 years meeting neither the criteria of group 1 nor group 2 and at least one of these criteria: Lymphopenia < 0.8 x G/l and/or D-dimer > 1µg/mL. • Group 4, age ≥ 75 years meeting neither the criteria of group 1 nor group 2. Observation time for all patients is expected to be at least 3 months after entry into the study. Patients receive convalescent plasma for two days (day 1 and day 2) or standard of care. For patients in the standard arm, cross over is allowed from day 10 in case of not improving or worsening clinical condition. Nose/throat swabs for determination of viral load are collected at day 0 and day 1 (before first CP administration) and subsequently at day 2, 3, 5, 7, 10, 14, 28 or until discharge. Serum for SARS-Cov-2 diagnostic is collected at baseline and subsequently at day 3, 7, 14 and once during the follow-up period (between day 35 and day 84). There is a regular follow-up of 3 months. All discharged patients are followed by regular phone calls. All visits, time points and study assessments are summarized in the Trial Schedule (see full protocol Table 1). All participating trial sites will be supplied with study specific visit worksheets that list all assessments and procedures to be completed at each visit. All findings including clinical and laboratory data are documented by the investigator or an authorized member of the study team in the patient's medical record and in the electronic case report forms (eCRFs). INTERVENTION AND COMPARATOR: This trial will analyze the effects of convalescent plasma from recovered subjects with SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in high-risk patients with SARS-CoV-2 infection. Patients at high risk for a poor outcome due to underlying disease, age or condition as listed above are eligible for enrollment. In addition, eligible patients have a confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection and O2 saturation ≤ 94% while breathing ambient air. Patients are randomised to receive (experimental arm) or not receive (standard arm) convalescent plasma in two bags (238 - 337 ml plasma each) from different donors (day 1, day 2). A cross over from the standard arm into the experimental arm is possible after day 10 in case of not improving or worsening clinical condition. MAIN OUTCOMES: Primary endpoints: The main purpose of the study is to assess the time from randomisation until an improvement within 84 days defined as two points on a seven-point ordinal scale or live discharge from the hospital in high-risk patients (group 1 to group 4) with SARS-CoV-2 infection requiring hospital admission by infusion of plasma from subjects after convalescence of a SARS-CoV-2 infection or standard of care. Secondary endpoints: • Overall survival, defined as the time from randomisation until death from any cause 28-day, 56-day and 84-day overall survival rates. • SARS-CoV-2 viral clearance and load as well as antibody titres. • Requirement mechanical ventilation at any time during hospital stay (yes/no). • Time until discharge from randomisation. • Viral load, changes in antibody titers and cytokine profiles are analysed in an exploratory manner using paired non-parametric tests (before - after treatment). RANDOMISATION: Upon confirmation of eligibility (patients must meet all inclusion criteria and must not meet exclusion criteria described in section 5.3 and 5.4 of the full protocol), the clinical site must contact a centralized internet randomization system ( https://randomizer.at/ ). Patients are randomized using block randomisation to one of the two arms, experimental arm or standard arm, in a 1:1 ratio considering a stratification according to the 4 risk groups (see Participants). BLINDING (MASKING): The study is open-label, no blinding will be performed. NUMBERS TO BE RANDOMISED (SAMPLE SIZE): A total number of 174 patients is required for the entire trial, n=87 per group. TRIAL STATUS: Protocol version 1.2 dated 09/07/2020. A recruitment period of approximately 9 months and an overall study duration of approximately 12 months is anticipated. Recruitment of patients starts in the third quarter of 2020. The study duration of an individual patient is planned to be 3 months. After finishing all study-relevant procedures, therapy, and follow-up period, the patient is followed in terms of routine care and treated if necessary. Total trial duration: 18 months Duration of the clinical phase: 12 months First patient first visit (FPFV): 3rd Quarter 2020 Last patient first visit (LPFV): 2nd Quarter 2021 Last patient last visit (LPLV): 3rd Quarter 2021 Trial Report completed: 4th Quarter 2021 TRIAL REGISTRATION: EudraCT Number: 2020-001632-10, https://www.clinicaltrialsregister.eu/ctr-search/trial/2020-001632-10/DE , registered on 04/04/2020. FULL PROTOCOL: The full protocol is attached as an additional file, accessible from the Trials website (Additional file 1). In the interest in expediting dissemination of this material, the familiar formatting has been eliminated; this Letter serves as a summary of the key elements of the full protocol. The study protocol has been reported in accordance with the Standard Protocol Items: Recommendations for Clinical Interventional Trials (SPIRIT) guidelines (Additional file 2). The eCRF is attached (Additional file 3).


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/blood , Betacoronavirus , Coronavirus Infections , Pandemics , Plasma/immunology , Pneumonia, Viral , Aged , Betacoronavirus/immunology , Betacoronavirus/isolation & purification , COVID-19 , Clinical Trials, Phase II as Topic , Convalescence , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Coronavirus Infections/therapy , Female , Humans , Immunization, Passive/methods , Male , Middle Aged , Monitoring, Physiologic/methods , Multicenter Studies as Topic , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Pneumonia, Viral/immunology , Pneumonia, Viral/therapy , Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic , Risk Adjustment , SARS-CoV-2 , Severity of Illness Index
18.
Infect Dis (Lond) ; 53(12): 947-952, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1373618

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Most SARS-CoV-2 antigen-detecting rapid diagnostic tests require nasopharyngeal sampling, which is frequently perceived as uncomfortable and requires healthcare professionals, thus limiting scale-up. Nasal sampling could enable self-sampling and increase acceptability. The term nasal sampling is often not used uniformly and sampling protocols differ. METHODS: This manufacturer-independent, prospective diagnostic accuracy study, compared professional anterior nasal and nasal mid-turbinate sampling for a WHO-listed SARS-CoV-2 antigen-detecting rapid diagnostic test. The second group of participants collected a nasal mid-turbinate sample themselves and underwent a professional nasopharyngeal swab for comparison. The reference standard was real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) using combined oro-/nasopharyngeal sampling. Individuals with high suspicion of SARS-CoV-2 infection were tested. Sensitivity, specificity, and percent agreement were calculated. Self-sampling was observed without intervention. Feasibility was evaluated by observer and participant questionnaires. RESULTS: Among 132 symptomatic adults, both professional anterior nasal and nasal mid-turbinate sampling yielded a sensitivity of 86.1% (31/36 RT-PCR positives detected; 95%CI: 71.3-93.9) and a specificity of 100.0% (95%CI: 95.7-100). The positive percent agreement was 100% (95%CI: 89.0-100). Among 96 additional adults, self nasal mid-turbinate and professional nasopharyngeal sampling yielded an identical sensitivity of 91.2% (31/34; 95%CI 77.0-97.0). Specificity was 98.4% (95%CI: 91.4-99.9) with nasal mid-turbinate and 100.0% (95%CI: 94.2-100) with nasopharyngeal sampling. The positive percent agreement was 96.8% (95%CI: 83.8-99.8). Most participants (85.3%) considered self-sampling as easy to perform. CONCLUSION: Professional anterior nasal and nasal mid-turbinate sampling are of equivalent accuracy for an antigen-detecting rapid diagnostic test in ambulatory symptomatic adults. Participants were able to reliably perform nasal mid-turbinate sampling themselves, following written and illustrated instructions. Nasal self-sampling will facilitate scaling of SARS-CoV-2 antigen testing.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Adult , Humans , Prospective Studies , Sensitivity and Specificity , Turbinates
19.
PLoS Med ; 18(8): e1003735, 2021 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1354750

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: SARS-CoV-2 antigen rapid diagnostic tests (Ag-RDTs) are increasingly being integrated in testing strategies around the world. Studies of the Ag-RDTs have shown variable performance. In this systematic review and meta-analysis, we assessed the clinical accuracy (sensitivity and specificity) of commercially available Ag-RDTs. METHODS AND FINDINGS: We registered the review on PROSPERO (registration number: CRD42020225140). We systematically searched multiple databases (PubMed, Web of Science Core Collection, medRvix, bioRvix, and FIND) for publications evaluating the accuracy of Ag-RDTs for SARS-CoV-2 up until 30 April 2021. Descriptive analyses of all studies were performed, and when more than 4 studies were available, a random-effects meta-analysis was used to estimate pooled sensitivity and specificity in comparison to reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) testing. We assessed heterogeneity by subgroup analyses, and rated study quality and risk of bias using the QUADAS-2 assessment tool. From a total of 14,254 articles, we included 133 analytical and clinical studies resulting in 214 clinical accuracy datasets with 112,323 samples. Across all meta-analyzed samples, the pooled Ag-RDT sensitivity and specificity were 71.2% (95% CI 68.2% to 74.0%) and 98.9% (95% CI 98.6% to 99.1%), respectively. Sensitivity increased to 76.3% (95% CI 73.1% to 79.2%) if analysis was restricted to studies that followed the Ag-RDT manufacturers' instructions. LumiraDx showed the highest sensitivity, with 88.2% (95% CI 59.0% to 97.5%). Of instrument-free Ag-RDTs, Standard Q nasal performed best, with 80.2% sensitivity (95% CI 70.3% to 87.4%). Across all Ag-RDTs, sensitivity was markedly better on samples with lower RT-PCR cycle threshold (Ct) values, i.e., <20 (96.5%, 95% CI 92.6% to 98.4%) and <25 (95.8%, 95% CI 92.3% to 97.8%), in comparison to those with Ct ≥ 25 (50.7%, 95% CI 35.6% to 65.8%) and ≥30 (20.9%, 95% CI 12.5% to 32.8%). Testing in the first week from symptom onset resulted in substantially higher sensitivity (83.8%, 95% CI 76.3% to 89.2%) compared to testing after 1 week (61.5%, 95% CI 52.2% to 70.0%). The best Ag-RDT sensitivity was found with anterior nasal sampling (75.5%, 95% CI 70.4% to 79.9%), in comparison to other sample types (e.g., nasopharyngeal, 71.6%, 95% CI 68.1% to 74.9%), although CIs were overlapping. Concerns of bias were raised across all datasets, and financial support from the manufacturer was reported in 24.1% of datasets. Our analysis was limited by the included studies' heterogeneity in design and reporting. CONCLUSIONS: In this study we found that Ag-RDTs detect the vast majority of SARS-CoV-2-infected persons within the first week of symptom onset and those with high viral load. Thus, they can have high utility for diagnostic purposes in the early phase of disease, making them a valuable tool to fight the spread of SARS-CoV-2. Standardization in conduct and reporting of clinical accuracy studies would improve comparability and use of data.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Serological Testing/methods , Age Factors , Antigens, Viral/analysis , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/etiology , COVID-19 Serological Testing/standards , Carrier State/diagnosis , Carrier State/virology , Humans , Nasopharynx/virology , Reagent Kits, Diagnostic , Reference Standards , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Sensitivity and Specificity , Viral Load
20.
Infection ; 50(2): 395-406, 2022 Apr.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1353740

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: Rapid antigen-detecting tests (Ag-RDTs) for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) can transform pandemic control. Thus far, sensitivity (≤ 85%) of lateral-flow assays has limited scale-up. Conceivably, microfluidic immunofluorescence Ag-RDTs could increase sensitivity for SARS-CoV-2 detection. METHODS: This multi-centre diagnostic accuracy study investigated performance of the microfluidic immunofluorescence LumiraDx™ assay, enrolling symptomatic and asymptomatic participants with suspected SARS-CoV-2 infection. Participants collected a supervised nasal mid-turbinate (NMT) self-swab for Ag-RDT testing, in addition to a professionally collected nasopharyngeal (NP) swab for routine testing with reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). Results were compared to calculate sensitivity and specificity. Sub-analyses investigated the results by viral load, symptom presence and duration. An analytical study assessed exclusivity and limit-of-detection (LOD). In addition, we evaluated ease-of-use. RESULTS: The study was conducted between November 2nd 2020 and 4th of December 2020. 761 participants were enrolled, with 486 participants reporting symptoms on testing day. 120 out of 146 RT-PCR positive cases were detected positive by LumiraDx™, resulting in a sensitivity of 82.2% (95% CI 75.2-87.5%). Specificity was 99.3% (CI 98.3-99.7%). Sensitivity was increased in individuals with viral load ≥ 7 log10 SARS-CoV2 RNA copies/ml (93.8%; CI 86.2-97.3%). Testing against common respiratory commensals and pathogens showed no cross-reactivity and LOD was estimated to be 2-56 PFU/mL. The ease-of-use-assessment was favourable for lower throughput settings. CONCLUSION: The LumiraDx™ assay showed excellent analytical sensitivity, exclusivity and clinical specificity with good clinical sensitivity using supervised NMT self-sampling. TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER AND REGISTRATION DATE: DRKS00021220 and 01.04.2020.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19/diagnosis , Humans , Pandemics , Point-of-Care Systems , RNA, Viral , Sensitivity and Specificity
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