Diagnostic Value of Rapid COVID-19 Antigen Test (Panbio, Abbott) Compared to RT- PCR in Suspected Cases of SARS-CoV-2 Infection at a Tertiary Care Center
Objective: To determine the diagnostic value of rapid COVID-19 antigen test (Panbio, Abbott) in comparison with Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) in suspected community cases of SARS-CoV-2 infection at a tertiary care center in Pakistan
Study Design: Cross sectional study.
Place and Duration of Study: Pathology Department, Combined Military Hospital, Lahore Pakistan, from Jun 2020 to Jun 2021.
Methodology: The diagnostic value of the Panbio®COVID-19 Antigen Rapid Test (Panbio, Abbott), was determined in comparison with RT-PCR in suspected community cases of SARS-CoV-2 infection at a tertiary care center on samples taken simultaneously. 200 individuals reporting to the hospital with signs and symptoms of potential COVID infection or history of significant contact exposure (>1 hour without masking and social distancing) to a RT-PCR positive COVID patient and concurrently requiring a rapid COVID antigen test due to an underlying health condition were included in the study by consecutive sampling.
Results: Out of 200 individuals, 53(26.5 %) were COVID positive by RT–PCR whereas 147(73.5%) were clearly negative with no cases of indeterminate viremia on RT PCR. 32(60.3%) out of 53 RT-PCR positive COVID cases were also found to be positive by COVID-19 Antigen Rapid Test, whereas 21(39.6%) were negative. Out of 147 RT-PCR negative COVID cases,146(99.3%) were negative by COVID-19 Antigen Rapid Test as well whereas 1(0.68%) was positive.
Conclusion: COVID-19 Antigen Rapid Test is suitable adjunct to RT-PCR testing in suspected cases in emergent settings in early days of admission.