Evaluation of Abbott BinaxNOW rapid antigen test for SARS-CoV-2 infection at two community-based testing sites – Pima County, Arizona, November 3-17, 2020

January 19, 2021

Jessica L. Prince-Guerra, PhD; Olivia Almendares, MSPH; Leisha D. Nolen, MD, PhD; Jayleen K. L. Gunn, PhD; Ariella P. Dale, PhD; Sean A. Buono, PhD; Molly Deutsch-Feldman, PhD; Suganthi Suppiah, PhD; LiJuan Hao, MD; Yan Zeng, MS; Valerie A. Stevens; Kristen Knipe, MS; Justine Pompey, PhD; Christine Atherstone, PhD; David P. Bui, PhD; Tracy Powell, PhD; Azaibi Tamin, PhD; Jennifer L. Harcourt, PhD; Patricia L. Shewmaker, PhD; Magdalena Medrzycki, PhD; Phili Wong, MS; Shilpi Jain, PhD; Alexandra Tejada-Strop, MS; Shannon Rogers, MS; Brian Emery1 Houping Wang, PhD; Marla Petway, MPH; Caitlin Bohannon, PhD; Jennifer M. Folster, PhD; Adam MacNeil, PhD; Reynolds Salerno, PhD1; Wendi Kuhnert-Tallman, PhD1; Jacqueline E. Tate, PhD1; Natalie J. Thornburg, PhD1; Hannah L. Kirking, MD1; Khalilullah Sheiban, MD4; Julie Kudrna, MPA; Theresa Cullen, MD; Kenneth K. Komatsu, MPH; Julie M. Villanueva, PhD; Dale A. Rose, PhD; John C. Neatherlin, MPH; Mark Anderson, MD; Paul A. Rota, PhD; Margaret A. Honein, PhD; William A. Bower, MD

Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR)

The US Food and Drug Administration has granted Emergency Use Authorization for the BinaxNOW rapid antigen test for COVID-19-symptomatic individuals. However, to understand the performance of the antigen test for asymptomatic persons, Prince-Guerra et al. compared real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction tests with the BinaxNOW rapid antigen test. The authors found the BinaxNOW test had a lower sensitivity comparing symptomatic (64.2%) to asymptomatic (35.8%) persons. Despite this, the specificity was high in both groups: 100.0% for symptomatic persons, and 99.8% for asymptomatic persons. When comparing the performance of the BinaxNOW test in culture-positive specimens, the sensitivity for symptomatic persons was 92.6% and for asymptomatic persons, 78.6%. The high specificity observed in this study indicates that the BinaxNOW antigen test may be useful for the quick detection and isolation of infectious individuals.

Prince-guerra JL, Almendares O, Nolen LD, Gunn JKL, Dale AP. Evaluation of Abbott BinaxNOW Rapid Antigen Test for SARS-CoV-2 Infection at Two Community-Based Testing Sites — Pima County , Arizona , November 3 – 17 , 2020. 2021; 70.

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