Now we’ve got rapid antigen tests and rapid molecular tests.
What is a rapid antigen test? (Science, 09.16.20)
This article explains the different types of COVID tests and their pros and cons.
This test may be the most widely used rapid antigen test in the US. The company validated it for use in people within 7 days of the onset of COVID symptoms, but it’s being widely used as a screening test for folks without symptoms. Whether that’s a good idea or not depends on a lot of factors.
Why is this the only recent article about rapid antigen tests? (The Atlantic, 01.13.21)
Because nobody’s been keeping track of the results from them.
The article that started it all (The Atlantic, 08.14.20)
This is one of the articles that first got me interested in COVID testing in schools. I still think the idea could have worked – rapid, ubiquitous antigen tests that people use every day.
The official FDA list, including both antigen tests and molecular tests.
The official word on these tests from the CDC.
This preprint article from June 2020 uses modeling to show that you can do effective surveillance with less-sensitive tests (like rapid antigen tests) as long as you test frequently and can report the results of the tests quickly. According to this article, you can’t get PCR test results back quickly enough to prevent outbreaks.
Individuals who test negative
on rapid antigen tests but positive on PCR tests may not
A study of Abbott’s Panbio test (not available in the US). Also showed that the test is less sensitive in kids than it is in adults. From Clinical Microbiology and Infection, 11.12.20.
More Recent Lay Press on Antigen Testing
An all-volunteer group started by Michael Mina, assistant professor of epidemiology at Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Explains in lay terms how ubiquitous rapid testing could help overcome the pandemic, and how you can help make it happen.