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J Clin Virol ; 141: 104896, 2021 Aug.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1267740


BACKGROUND: Point-of-care tests (POCT) are promising tools to detect SARS-CoV-2 in specific settings. Initial reports suggest the ID NOW™ COVID-19 assay (Abbott Diagnostics Inc, USA) is less sensitive than standard real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (rRT-PCR) assays. This has raised concern over false negatives in SARS-CoV-2 POCT. OBJECTIVES: We compared the performance of the ID NOW™ COVID-19 assay to our in-house rRT-PCR assay to assess whether dry swabs used in ID NOW™ testing could be stored in transport media and be re-tested by rRT-PCR for redundancy and to provide material for further investigation. METHODS: Paired respiratory swabs collected from patients at three acute care hospitals were used. One swab in transport media (McMaster Molecular Media (MMM)) was tested for SARS-CoV-2 by a laboratory-developed two-target rRT-PCR assay. The second was stored dry in a sterile container and tested by the ID NOW™ COVID-19 assay. Following ID NOW™ testing, dry swabs were stored in MMM for up to 48 h and re-tested by rRT-PCR. Serially diluted SARS-CoV-2 particles were used to assess the impact of heat inactivation and storage time. RESULTS: Respiratory swabs (n = 343) from 179 individuals were included. Using rRT-PCR results as the comparator, the ID NOW™ COVID-19 assay had positive (PPA) and negative (NPA) percent agreements of 87.0% (95% CI:0.74-0.94) and 99.7% (95% CI:0.98-0.99). Re-tested swabs placed in MMM following ID NOW testing had PPA and NPA of 88.8% (95% CI:0.76-0.95) and 99.7% (95% CI:0.98-0.99), respectively. CONCLUSIONS: Storing spent dry swabs in transport media for redundancy rRT-PCR testing is a potential approach to address possible false negatives with the ID NOW™ COVID-19 assay.

COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19 Testing , Humans , Point-of-Care Testing , Sensitivity and Specificity , Specimen Handling
Viruses ; 12(11)2020 11 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-927860


Widely available and easily accessible testing for COVID-19 is a cornerstone of pandemic containment strategies. Nasopharyngeal swabs (NPS) are the currently accepted standard for sample collection but are limited by their need for collection devices and sampling by trained healthcare professionals. The aim of this study was to compare the performance of saliva to NPS in an outpatient setting. This was a prospective study conducted at three centers, which compared the performance of saliva and NPS samples collected at the time of assessment center visit. Samples were tested by real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction and sensitivity and overall agreement determined between saliva and NPS. Clinical data was abstracted by chart review for select study participants. Of the 432 paired samples, 46 were positive for SARS-CoV-2, with seven discordant observed between the two sample types (four individuals testing positive only by NPS and three by saliva only). The observed agreement was 98.4% (kappa coefficient 0.91) and a composite reference standard demonstrated sensitivity of 0.91 and 0.93 for saliva and NPS samples, respectively. On average, the Ct values obtained from saliva as compared to NPS were higher by 2.76. This study demonstrates that saliva performs comparably to NPS for the detection of SARS-CoV-2. Saliva was simple to collect, did not require transport media, and could be tested with equipment readily available at most laboratories. The use of saliva as an acceptable alternative to NPS could support the use of widespread surveillance testing for SARS-CoV-2.

COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing , COVID-19/diagnosis , Nasopharynx/virology , Outpatients/statistics & numerical data , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Saliva/virology , Adult , Female , Humans , Limit of Detection , Male , Middle Aged , Ontario , Prospective Studies , RNA, Viral/genetics , Sensitivity and Specificity , Specimen Handling