Abbott received the CE marking for the Panbio COVID-19 Ag rapid test for the detection of the SARS-CoV-2 virus in individuals suspected of having COVID-19. This rapid antigen test requires no instrumentation, is easy to use and returns results in just 15 minutes.
Due to its speed and simplicity, this test can be seen as a useful tool to support Public Health strategies, such as contact tracking and large-scale tests, with suspected active infection.
This test is based on the detection of a virus protein to determine the infection and provides essential information during the period of infection when individuals are most at risk of transmitting the disease. These characteristics make the test an important ally to contain the spread of the virus.
The simple-to-use design and the fast delivery of results allow this device to be used in units without laboratory instruments, increasing the scale and carrying out tests on thousands of individuals to reduce the spread, in combination with PCR tests.
The collection of samples is carried out through the exudate from the nasopharynx, does not require any confirmation test and the device uses lateral flow technology for rapid and qualitative detection of the virus.
The preliminary results of a clinical study carried out by the company with 241 samples demonstrate that the Panbio test has a sensitivity of 93.3% and a specificity of 99.4% in individuals with suspected exposure to the virus or with symptoms in the last seven days.
Although the negative result does not exclude the possibility that the patient is infected with COVID-19 and this test cannot be used as the sole basis for determining treatment or for other therapeutic decisions, it is an important tool to consider in the overall strategy against COVID-19 and Abbott have already sent information about the test to WHO to be included in the Emergency Use List.