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Performance of Abbott ID NOW COVID-19 rapid nucleic acid amplification test in nasopharyngeal swabs transported in viral media and dry nasal swabs, in a New York City academic institution

By Atreyee Basu, Tatyana Zinger, Kenneth Inglima, Kar-mun Woo, Onome Atie, Lauren Yurasits, Benjamin See, Maria E. Aguero-Rosenfeld

Posted 12 May 2020
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2020.05.11.089896 (published DOI: 10.1128/JCM.01136-20)

The recent emergence of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has posed formidable challenges for clinical laboratories seeking reliable laboratory diagnostic confirmation. The swift advance of the crisis in the United States has led to Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) facilitating the availability of molecular diagnostic assays without the more rigorous examination to which tests are normally subjected prior to FDA approval. Our laboratory currently uses two real time RT-PCR platforms, the Roche Cobas SARS-CoV2 and the Cepheid Xpert Xpress SARS-CoV-2. Both platforms demonstrate comparable performance; however, the run times for each assay are 3.5 hours and 45 minutes, respectively. In search for a platform with shorter turnaround time, we sought to evaluate the recently released Abbott ID NOW COVID-19 assay which is capable of producing positive results in as little as 5 minutes. We present here the results of comparisons between Abbott ID NOW COVID-19 and Cepheid Xpert Xpress SARS-CoV-2 using nasopharyngeal swabs transported in viral transport media and comparisons between Abbott ID NOW COVID-19 and Cepheid Xpert Xpress SARS-CoV-2 using nasopharyngeal swabs transported in viral transport media for Cepheid and dry nasal swabs for Abbott ID NOW. Regardless of method of collection and sample type, Abbott ID NOW COVID-19 had negative results in a third of the samples that tested positive by Cepheid Xpert Xpress when using nasopharyngeal swabs in viral transport media and 45% when using dry nasal swabs. ### Competing Interest Statement The authors have declared no competing interest.

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