Accuracy of UK Rapid Test Consortium (UK-RTC) "AbC-19 Rapid Test" for detection of previous SARS-CoV-2 infection in key workers: test accuracy study.
Jones, Hayley E
Ades, Anthony E
EDSAB-HOME and COMPARE Investigators,
BMJ (Clinical research ed.)
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Mulchandani, R., Jones, H. E., Taylor-Phillips, S., Shute, J., Perry, K., Jamarani, S., Brooks, T., et al. (2020). Accuracy of UK Rapid Test Consortium (UK-RTC) "AbC-19 Rapid Test" for detection of previous SARS-CoV-2 infection in key workers: test accuracy study.. BMJ (Clinical research ed.), 371 m4262. https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.m4262
OBJECTIVE: To assess the accuracy of the AbC-19 Rapid Test lateral flow immunoassay for the detection of previous severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection. DESIGN: Test accuracy study. SETTING: Laboratory based evaluation. PARTICIPANTS: 2847 key workers (healthcare staff, fire and rescue officers, and police officers) in England in June 2020 (268 with a previous polymerase chain reaction (PCR) positive result (median 63 days previously), 2579 with unknown previous infection status); and 1995 pre-pandemic blood donors. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: AbC-19 sensitivity and specificity, estimated using known negative (pre-pandemic) and known positive (PCR confirmed) samples as reference standards and secondly using the Roche Elecsys anti-nucleoprotein assay, a highly sensitive laboratory immunoassay, as a reference standard in samples from key workers. RESULTS: Test result bands were often weak, with positive/negative discordance by three trained laboratory staff for 3.9% of devices. Using consensus readings, for known positive and negative samples sensitivity was 92.5% (95% confidence interval 88.8% to 95.1%) and specificity was 97.9% (97.2% to 98.4%). Using an immunoassay reference standard, sensitivity was 94.2% (90.7% to 96.5%) among PCR confirmed cases but 84.7% (80.6% to 88.1%) among other people with antibodies. This is consistent with AbC-19 being more sensitive when antibody concentrations are higher, as people with PCR confirmation tended to have more severe disease whereas only 62% (218/354) of seropositive participants had had symptoms. If 1 million key workers were tested with AbC-19 and 10% had actually been previously infected, 84 700 true positive and 18 900 false positive results would be projected. The probability that a positive result was correct would be 81.7% (76.8% to 85.8%). CONCLUSIONS: AbC-19 sensitivity was lower among unselected populations than among PCR confirmed cases of SARS-CoV-2, highlighting the scope for overestimation of assay performance in studies involving only PCR confirmed cases, owing to "spectrum bias." Assuming that 10% of the tested population have had SARS-CoV-2 infection, around one in five key workers testing positive with AbC-19 would be false positives. STUDY REGISTRATION: ISRCTN 56609224.
EDSAB-HOME and COMPARE Investigators, Humans, Pneumonia, Viral, Coronavirus Infections, Reagent Kits, Diagnostic, Immunoassay, Clinical Laboratory Techniques, Sensitivity and Specificity, Predictive Value of Tests, Police, Health Personnel, Female, Male, Pandemics, Firefighters, United Kingdom, Betacoronavirus, COVID-19, SARS-CoV-2, COVID-19 Testing
The study was commissioned by the UK Government’s Department of Health and Social Care. It was funded and implemented by Public Health England, supported by the NIHR Clinical Research Network (CRN) Portfolio. The Department of Health and Social Care received a report containing these data on 10/9/2020, but had no role in the study design, data collection, analysis, interpretation of results, writing of the manuscript, or the decision to publish. DW acknowledges support from the NIHR Health Protection Research Unit in Genomics and Data Enabling at the University of Warwick. HEJ, AEA, MH and IO acknowledge support from the NIHR Health Protection Research Unit in Behavioural Science and Evaluation at University of Bristol. STP is supported by an NIHR Career Development Fellowship (CDF-2016-09-018). Participants in the COMPARE study were recruited with the active collaboration of NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) England (www.nhsbt.nhs.uk). Funding for COMPARE was provided by NHSBT and the NIHR Blood and Transplant Research Unit (BTRU) in Donor Health and Genomics (NIHR BTRU-2014-10024). The academic coordinating centre for COMPARE was supported by core funding from: NIHR BTRU, UK Medical Research Council (MR/L003120/1), British Heart Foundation (RG/13/13/30194) and the NIHR [Cambridge Biomedical Research Centre at the Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust]. This work was supported by Health Data Research UK, which is funded by the UK Medical Research Council, Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, Economic and Social Research Council, Department of Health and Social Care (England), Chief Scientist Office of the Scottish Government Health and Social Care Directorates, Health and Social Care Research and Development Division (Welsh Division), Public Health Agency (Northern Ireland), British Heart Foundation and Wellcome. JD holds a British Heart Foundation Professorship and a National Institute for Health Research Senior Investigator Award. The views expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of the NHS, NIHR or the Department of Health and Social Care.
British Heart Foundation (RG/13/13/30194)
External DOI: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.m4262
This record's URL: https://www.repository.cam.ac.uk/handle/1810/313356
Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International
Licence URL: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/