Performance of Abbott ID Now COVID-19 Rapid Nucleic Acid Amplification Test Using Nasopharyngeal Swabs Transported in Viral Transport Media and Dry Nasal Swabs in a New York City Academic Institution
The recent emergence of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (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 reverse transcription-PCR (RT-PCR) platforms, the Roche Cobas SARS-CoV2 and the Cepheid Xpert Xpress SARS-CoV-2. The two platforms demonstrate comparable performances; however, the run times for each assay are 3.5 h and 45 min, respectively. In search for a platform with a 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 min. 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.