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Clin Infect Dis ; 73(9): e3027-e3032, 2021 11 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1500994


BACKGROUND: Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the virus that causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), can be detected in respiratory samples by real-time reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) or other molecular methods. Accessibility of diagnostic testing for COVID-19 has been limited by intermittent shortages of supplies required for testing, including flocked nasopharyngeal (FLNP) swabs. METHODS: We developed a 3-dimensional printed nasopharyngeal (3DP) swab as a replacement of the FLNP swab. The performance of 3DP and FLNP swabs were compared in a clinical trial of symptomatic patients at 3 clinical sites (n = 291) using 3 SARS-CoV-2 emergency use authorization tests: a modified version of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) RT-PCR Diagnostic Panel and 2 commercial automated formats, Roche Cobas and NeuMoDx. RESULTS: The cycle threshold-C(t)-values from the gene targets and the RNase P gene control in the CDC assay showed no significant differences between swabs for both gene targets (P = .152 and P = .092), with the RNase P target performing significantly better in the 3DP swabs (P < .001). The C(t) values showed no significant differences between swabs for both viral gene targets in the Roche cobas assay (P = .05 and P = .05) as well as the NeuMoDx assay (P = .401 and P = .484). The overall clinical correlation of COVID-19 diagnosis between all methods was 95.88% (Kappa 0.901). CONCLUSIONS: The 3DP swabs were equivalent to standard FLNP in 3 testing platforms for SARS-CoV-2. Given the need for widespread testing, 3DP swabs printed onsite are an alternate to FLNP that can rapidly scale in response to acute needs when supply chain disruptions affect availability of collection kits.

COVID-19 Testing , COVID-19 , Humans , Nasopharynx , Printing, Three-Dimensional , SARS-CoV-2 , Specimen Handling