Surveillance testing for SARS-COV-2 infection in an asymptomatic athlete population: A prospective cohort study with 123 362 tests and 23 463 paired RT-PCR/antigen samples
De St Maurice, A.M.
AffiliationUniversity of Arizona Medical Center, University Campus
Department of Family and Community Medicine, University of Arizona
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherBMJ Publishing Group
CitationHarmon, K., De St Maurice, A. M., Brady, A. C., Swaminathan, S., Aukerman, D. F., Rueda, M. A., Terrell, K., Cohen, R. P., Gamradt, S. C., Henry, S. D., Huston, L. M., McAllister, D. R., McCarty, K. M., Pass, A. N., Paul, S. R., Petron, D. J., & Kliethermes, S. A. (2021). Surveillance testing for SARS-COV-2 infection in an asymptomatic athlete population: A prospective cohort study with 123 362 tests and 23 463 paired RT-PCR/antigen samples. BMJ Open Sport and Exercise Medicine, 7(2).
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AbstractObjective To assess the diagnostic accuracy of antigen compared with reverse transcriptase (RT)-PCR testing in an asymptomatic athlete screening programme and to monitor infection in college athletes. Methods Quidel Sofia-2 SARS-CoV-2 Antigen Tests were performed daily before sports participation for football, basketball, wrestling and water polo from 29 September 2020 to 28 February 2021. Paired RT-PCR and antigen tests were performed at least once a week. Positive antigen tests were confirmed with RT-PCR. Results 81 175 antigen and 42 187 RT-PCR tests were performed, including 23 462 weekly paired antigen/RT-PCR screening tests in 1931 athletes. One hundred and seventy-two athletes had a positive screening RT-PCR (0.4%), of which 83 (48%) occurred on paired testing days. The sensitivity of antigen tests varied with the frequency of RT-PCR testing and prevalence of COVID-19. The sensitivity of antigen testing was 35.7% (95% CI: 17% to 60%) and specificity 99.8% (95% CI: 99.7% to 99.9%) with once-a-week RT-PCR testing after adjusting for school prevalence. Daily antigen testing was similar to RT-PCR testing two to three times a week in identifying infection. Antigen testing identified infection before the next scheduled PCR on 89 occasions and resulted in 234 days where potentially infectious athletes were isolated before they would have been isolated with RT-PCR testing alone. Two athletic-related outbreaks occurred; 86% of total infections were community acquired. Conclusion Antigen testing has high specificity with a short turnaround time but is not as sensitive as RT-PCR. Daily antigen testing or RT-PCR testing two to three times a week is similar. There are benefits and drawbacks to each testing approach. © Author(s) (or their employer(s)) 2021. Re-use permitted under CC BY-NC. No commercial re-use. See rights and permissions. Published by BMJ.
NoteOpen access journal
VersionFinal published version
Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as Copyright © Author(s) (or their employer(s)) 2021. Re-use permitted under CC BY-NC.