Coronavirus: The reliability of rapid tests questioned by a group of laboratories

Towards a new controversy in the midst of a health crisis? After conducting a study, the group of medical analysis laboratories Biogroup released a press release on Friday, December 18, in which it questions the reliability of the rapid tests for Covid_19.

According to this document, the results of antigenic tests would include not only “false negatives”, but also “many false positives”.

Between November 23 and December 15, a study was carried out with 1,666 patients who came to perform a laboratory PCR test, and claim to have performed an antigen test in the past 24 hours.

Of 1,327 people who tested negative in the rapid test, 111 were considered positive in the CRP test, or 8.3%. A percentage “certainly reduced because only patients with doubts and clinical signs checked their results”, underlines the Biogroup.

Usage Failures

But it was the results of patients with positive antigen tests that questioned and surprised the group. In fact, of the 339 positive patients, 214 were in fact negative on the CRP test, or 63%. Higher proportion “than we expected”, attributed to “defects in the use and interpretation of these tests by personnel without a medical biology culture”.

Intended to give “a real image of the field”, this study contrasts with the evaluations of the manufacturers of antigenic tests “carried out under strict conditions of control of the procedures”.

For example, “from many tests they are made in outdoors, with very low temperatures. However, these tests are based on an antigen/antibody reaction that can only be done at a certain temperature”, explained biologist Laurent Kbaier, quoted in a statement from the group.

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