28 Aug COVID-19: Self-Administered At Home Antigen Testing Gives Results in 15 Minutes
MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Laura Holberger, PhD
Vice President, Strategic Partnerships
MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?
Response: Dr. Laura Holberger is the lead author of a JNO article published today describing the results of a research study done on behalf of BioLabs, a global network of coworking laboratory spaces, and the Cambridge Consortium for Rapid COVID Tests (CCRCT).
BioLabs co-sponsored the study which helped validate a high-frequency testing protocol using an antigen test for COVID-19 under development by E25Bio Inc., a biotechnology company that develops rapid tests for infectious diseases. The study involved twice-weekly testing of members and affiliates working in person at coworking laboratories in Cambridge and Boston, Massachusetts from September 2020 through March 2021.
MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings?
Response: Twice-weekly antigen testing was 100% effective at detecting infections in an in-person work environment. The test had an overall sensitivity of 79% for days 0 to 12 of symptoms, with higher sensitivity early in infection (96% for days 0 to 3 of symptoms). The specificity of the test was 97%.
MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?
Response: Antigen tests such as E25Bio’s DART are substantially less expensive than PCR, can be self-administered, and give results in about 15 minutes, which allows infected individuals to quarantine immediately. Lockdowns and other COVID-19 mitigation strategies could be avoided completely with a combination of vaccine mandates and high-frequency antigen testing protocols implemented for all in-person activities.
Organizations that desire/require in-person activities such as companies, schools, or churches etc. should be encouraged to enroll their members in a high-frequency testing program using antigen tests. We recommend that twice-weekly antigen testing be used in conjunction with a mobile application like the one used by the researchers, which allows users to easily upload test results to aid contact-tracing and quarantine efforts.
MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this work?
Response: Future research is necessary to determine how SARS-COV-2 nucleoprotein antigen and genome levels in nasal swab samples correlate with viral transmission by symptomatic and asymptomatic individuals over the course of an infection.
In the author’s professional opinion, the current FDA guidelines for at-home tests for COVID-19 should be revised to support the approval of this and other similar rapid antigen tests.
The research was funded equally by BioLabs, E25Bio and LabCentral.
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