The COVID-19 pandemic has primarily been controlled by testing for SARS-CoV-2 infections. Despite vaccines, testing will remain crucial for surveillance and screening, allowing for the detection of new variants in a timely manner and to isolate the infected people to lower the danger of the disease spreading further. The research study attempts to found out the efficiency of Reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and Rapid antigen tests in symptomatic COVID-19 patients at tertiary care hospitals. The research was performed on 1000 patients, both In-patients and Out-patients, who presented with COVID-19 symptoms. SARS-COV-2 nucleocapsid protein antigen was detected qualitatively with rapid antigen test in human nasal specimens through the immuno-chromatographic assay. The rapid test results were compared with a molecular test RT-PCR in which FAM, HEX, and ROX were the indicator dyes for the RdRp gene, E gene, and the internal control (RNAse P), respectively. Nearly 322 cases were positive with both RT-PCR and rapid antigen test methods. Fifty-nine samples yielded negative results with the rapid antigen test and positive with PCR. Three samples were negative with RT-PCR and positive with the rapid antigen test. The findings from our study show that the common symptoms are fever 92.2% and cough 74.1% in the reported test population. But in confirmed cases of RT-PCR showed cough at 74.1% was more prevalent, followed by fever at 41.3%. Rapid antigen test showed a overall sensitivity and specificity of 85.3% and 99.5%. According to World Health Organization, rapid antigen detection tests meet the minimum performance requirements of ≥80% sensitivity and ≥97% specificity. Hence, the present study meets this criterion and may perhaps be a probable tool for point-of-care in hospital settings.
COVID-19, RT-PCR, Rapid Test, Ct-score, Specificity
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