Due to the many technical limitations of molecular biology, the possibility to sustain enormous volumes of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) diagnostic testing relies strongly on the use of antigen rapid diagnostic tests (Ag-RDTs). Besides a limited analytical sensitivity, the manually intensive test procedures needed for performing these tests, very often performed by unskilled personnel or by the patients themselves, may contribute to considerably impair their diagnostic accuracy. We provide here an updated overview on the leading preanalytical drawbacks that may impair SARS-CoV-2 Ag-RDT accuracy, and which encompass lower diagnostic sensitivity in certain age groups, in asymptomatic subjects and those with a longer time from symptoms onset, in vaccine recipients, in individuals not appropriately trained to their usage, in those recently using oral or nasal virucidal agents, in oropharyngeal swabs and saliva, as well as in circumstances when instructions provided by the manufacturers are unclear, incomplete or scarcely readable and intelligible. Acknowledging these important preanalytical limitations will lead the way to a better, more clinically efficient and even safer use of this important technology, which represents an extremely valuable resource for management of the ongoing pandemic.

An overview of the most important preanalytical factors influencing the clinical performance of SARS-CoV-2 antigen rapid diagnostic tests (Ag-RDTs)

Lippi, Giuseppe
;
2023-01-01

Abstract

Due to the many technical limitations of molecular biology, the possibility to sustain enormous volumes of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) diagnostic testing relies strongly on the use of antigen rapid diagnostic tests (Ag-RDTs). Besides a limited analytical sensitivity, the manually intensive test procedures needed for performing these tests, very often performed by unskilled personnel or by the patients themselves, may contribute to considerably impair their diagnostic accuracy. We provide here an updated overview on the leading preanalytical drawbacks that may impair SARS-CoV-2 Ag-RDT accuracy, and which encompass lower diagnostic sensitivity in certain age groups, in asymptomatic subjects and those with a longer time from symptoms onset, in vaccine recipients, in individuals not appropriately trained to their usage, in those recently using oral or nasal virucidal agents, in oropharyngeal swabs and saliva, as well as in circumstances when instructions provided by the manufacturers are unclear, incomplete or scarcely readable and intelligible. Acknowledging these important preanalytical limitations will lead the way to a better, more clinically efficient and even safer use of this important technology, which represents an extremely valuable resource for management of the ongoing pandemic.
COVID-19, SARS-CoV-2, lateral flow immunoassays, rapid test
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11562/1077546
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