Large study of rapid COVID-19 tests concludes with plea for more studies

[Photo by Fusion Medical Animation on Unsplash]

A large review of the results from rapid point-of-care COVID-19 tests found inconclusive evidence of their accuracy and led to a plea for more studies.

The researchers at Cochrane sought to determine if rapid point-of-care antigen and molecular tests for COVID-19 are accurate enough to replace RT-PCR tests, which require laboratory analysis to diagnose infection.

They reviewed 22 publications reporting on 18 study cohorts with 3,198 unique samples, of which 1,775 had confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection. Ten of those studies took place in North America, with two in South America, four in Europe, one in China and one conducted internally.

The results came from eight commercial tests (four antigen and four molecular) and one in-house antigen test. They included considerable variation between the outcomes of the antigen tests and how well they detected COVID-1…

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