Performance of High Throughput SARS-CoV-2 Antigen Testing Compared to Nucleic Acid Testing.

06 Sep 2022
Peck Palmer O, Hasskamp JH, La HS, Pramod Patwardhan P, Ghumman S, Baloda V, Jung Y, Wheeler SE


Independent assessment of SARS-CoV-2 antigen (COV2Ag) tests remains important as varying performance between assays is common. We assessed the performance of a new high-throughput COV2Ag test compared to SARS-CoV-2 nucleic acid amplification tests (NAAT).


A total of 347 nasopharyngeal samples collected from January to October 2021 were assessed by NAAT as part of standard-of-care testing (CDC LDT or GeneXpert System, Cepheid) and COV2Ag using the ADVIA Centaur CoV2Ag assay (Siemens Healthineers).


Among NAAT positive specimens we found 82.4% agreement and in NAAT negative specimens we found 97.3% agreement (overall agreement 85.6%). In symptomatic persons, COV2Ag agreed with NAAT 90.0% (n = 291), and in asymptomatic persons, 62.5% (n = 56). Agreement between positive NAAT and COV2Ag increased at lower cycle threshold (Ct) values.


The COV2Ag assay exceeded the World Health Organization minimum performance requirements of ≥ 80% sensitivity and ≥ 97% specificity. The COV2Ag assay is helpful for large scale screening efforts due to high-throughput and reduced wait times.