Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

The COVID-19 pandemic has given rise to numerous commercially available antigen rapid diagnostic tests (Ag-RDTs). To generate and to share accurate and independent data with the global community requires multisite prospective diagnostic evaluations of Ag-RDTs. This report describes the clinical evaluation of the OnSite COVID-19 rapid test (CTK Biotech, CA, USA) in Brazil and the United Kingdom. A total of 496 paired nasopharyngeal (NP) swabs were collected from symptomatic health care workers at Hospital das Clínicas in São Paulo, Brazil, and 211 NP swabs were collected from symptomatic participants at a COVID-19 drive-through testing site in Liverpool, United Kingdom. Swabs were analyzed by Ag-RDT, and results were compared to quantitative reverse transcriptase PCR (RT-qPCR). The clinical sensitivity of the OnSite COVID-19 rapid test in Brazil was 90.3% (95% confidence interval [CI], 75.1 to 96.7%) and in the United Kingdom was 75.3% (95% CI, 64.6 to 83.6%). The clinical specificity in Brazil was 99.4% (95% CI, 98.1 to 99.8%) and in the United Kingdom was 95.5% (95% CI, 90.6 to 97.9%). Concurrently, analytical evaluation of the Ag-RDT was assessed using direct culture supernatant of SARS-CoV-2 strains from wild-type (WT), Alpha, Delta, Gamma, and Omicron lineages. This study provides comparative performance of an Ag-RDT across two different settings, geographical areas, and populations. Overall, the OnSite Ag-RDT demonstrated a lower clinical sensitivity than claimed by the manufacturer. The sensitivity and specificity from the Brazil study fulfilled the performance criteria determined by the World Health Organization, but the performance obtained from the UK study failed to do. Further evaluation of Ag-RDTs should include harmonized protocols between laboratories to facilitate comparison between settings. IMPORTANCE Evaluating rapid diagnostic tests in diverse populations is essential to improving diagnostic responses as it gives an indication of the accuracy in real-world scenarios. In the case of rapid diagnostic testing within this pandemic, lateral flow tests that meet the minimum requirements for sensitivity and specificity can play a key role in increasing testing capacity, allowing timely clinical management of those infected, and protecting health care systems. This is particularly valuable in settings where access to the test gold standard is often restricted.

Original publication




Journal article


Microbiol Spectr

Publication Date





COVID-19, RDT, diagnostics, Humans, Brazil, COVID-19, Pandemics, Prospective Studies, SARS-CoV-2, United Kingdom, Biotechnology, COVID-19 Testing