Background. In emergency hospital settings, rapid diagnosis and isolation of SARS-CoV-2 patients are required. The aim of the study was to evaluate the performance of an antigen chemiluminescence enzymatic immunoassay (CLEIA) and compare it with that of Real-time Reverse transcription-Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-qPCR), the gold standard assay, to assess its suitability as a rapid diagnostic method for managing patients in the emergency department (ED). Methods. Consecutive patients with no previous history of SARS-CoV-2 infection attending the ED of the Policlinico Hospital of Bari between 23rd October and 4th November 2020 were enrolled. Clinical and demographic data were collected for all patients. Nasopharyngeal swabs collected on admission were subjected both to molecular (RT-qPCR) and antigen (CLEIA) tests for SARS-CoV-2. The performance of the CLEIA antigen test was analyzed using R Studio software and Microsoft Excel. Receiver operating characteristics were also performed. Results. A total of 911 patients were enrolled, of whom 469 (51.5%) were male. Of the whole cohort, 23.7% tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 by RT-qPCR and 24.5% by CLEIA. The overall concordance rate was 96.8%. The sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, and negative predictive value of the antigen test were 94.9% (95% CI, 91.9–97.0), 97.4% (95% CI, 96.5–98.1), 91.9% (95% CI, 89.0–94.0), and 98.4% (95% CI, 97.4–99.1), respectively. The area under the curve (AUC) was 0.99. The kappa coefficient was 0.91. The overall positive and negative likelihood ratios were 37 (95% CI 23-58) and 0.05 (95% CI, 0.03–0.09), respectively. Conclusions. Data analysis demonstrated that the antigen test showed very good accuracy for discriminating SARS-CoV-2-infected patients from negative participants. The CLEIA is suitable for rapid clinical diagnosis of patients in hospital settings, particularly in EDs with a high prevalence of symptomatic patients and where a rapid turnaround time is critical. Timely and accurate testing for SARS-CoV-2 plays a crucial role in limiting the spread of the virus.

The Challenge of Using an Antigen Test as a Screening Tool for SARS-CoV-2 Infection in an Emergency Department: Experience of a Tertiary Care Hospital in Southern Italy

Loconsole, Daniela;Centrone, Francesca;Morcavallo, Caterina;Campanella, Silvia;Sallustio, Anna;Casulli, Daniele;Accogli, Marisa;Chironna, Maria
2021-01-01

Abstract

Background. In emergency hospital settings, rapid diagnosis and isolation of SARS-CoV-2 patients are required. The aim of the study was to evaluate the performance of an antigen chemiluminescence enzymatic immunoassay (CLEIA) and compare it with that of Real-time Reverse transcription-Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-qPCR), the gold standard assay, to assess its suitability as a rapid diagnostic method for managing patients in the emergency department (ED). Methods. Consecutive patients with no previous history of SARS-CoV-2 infection attending the ED of the Policlinico Hospital of Bari between 23rd October and 4th November 2020 were enrolled. Clinical and demographic data were collected for all patients. Nasopharyngeal swabs collected on admission were subjected both to molecular (RT-qPCR) and antigen (CLEIA) tests for SARS-CoV-2. The performance of the CLEIA antigen test was analyzed using R Studio software and Microsoft Excel. Receiver operating characteristics were also performed. Results. A total of 911 patients were enrolled, of whom 469 (51.5%) were male. Of the whole cohort, 23.7% tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 by RT-qPCR and 24.5% by CLEIA. The overall concordance rate was 96.8%. The sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, and negative predictive value of the antigen test were 94.9% (95% CI, 91.9–97.0), 97.4% (95% CI, 96.5–98.1), 91.9% (95% CI, 89.0–94.0), and 98.4% (95% CI, 97.4–99.1), respectively. The area under the curve (AUC) was 0.99. The kappa coefficient was 0.91. The overall positive and negative likelihood ratios were 37 (95% CI 23-58) and 0.05 (95% CI, 0.03–0.09), respectively. Conclusions. Data analysis demonstrated that the antigen test showed very good accuracy for discriminating SARS-CoV-2-infected patients from negative participants. The CLEIA is suitable for rapid clinical diagnosis of patients in hospital settings, particularly in EDs with a high prevalence of symptomatic patients and where a rapid turnaround time is critical. Timely and accurate testing for SARS-CoV-2 plays a crucial role in limiting the spread of the virus.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11586/372749
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