Assessment on COVID-19 Antibody and Antigen Rapid Test Devices as Screening Tools for SARS-CoV-2 Infection at the Academic Premises


  • Vivian Litanto Universitas Pelita Harapan
  • Youngchae Kim Universitas Pelita Harapan
  • Veli Sungono Universitas Pelita Harapan
  • Yakobus Siswadi Universitas Pelita Harapan
  • Elbert H. Nugroho Universitas Pelita Harapan
  • Juandy Jo Universitas Pelita Harapan



COVID-19, SARS-CoV-2, screening, antibody rapid test, antigen rapid test


Since early 2020, a novel coronavirus named SARS-CoV-2 is causing COVID-19 pandemic. This novel virus is very contagious as it spreads quickly, primarily via droplets during person-to-person contact. The gold standard method to confirm SARS-CoV-2 infection is the reverse transcriptase-quantitative polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR) assay, but this technology is labor-intensive and time-consuming. An effective, point-of-care assay will be required to screen the general population for SARS-CoV-2 infection, hence RT-qPCR assay could be used mainly to confirm suspected cases with COVID-19. In this cross-sectional study, we described our experiences in using the antibody and antigen rapid test devices to screen for SARS-CoV-2 infection among staff and students at Universitas Pelita Harapan, respectively. Firstly, we found that the participating staff who worked regularly at the academic premises were not infected by SARS-CoV-2 during November and December 2020, suggested by seronegative results (0 out of 55). Secondly, we observed that among seropositive students who were living at the dormitory, the antigen rapid testing did not detect any positive subject (0 out 26), despite some among those exhibited the positive results when tested with RT-qPCR (8 out 26). The calculated sensitivity was 0%, while the specificity was 100%. Taken together, our findings indicated the weakness of using the antibody and antigen rapid test devices as a screening tool for SARS-CoV-2 infection among our cohorts.



2022-04-24 — Updated on 2022-04-24