Combining rapid antigen testing and syndromic surveillance improves community-based COVID-19 detection in a low-income country

Chadwick, Fergus J. ORCID logo ORCID: , Clark, Jessica ORCID logo ORCID: , Chowdhury, Shayan ORCID logo ORCID: , Chowdhury, Tasnuva ORCID logo ORCID: , Pascall, David J. ORCID logo ORCID: , Haddou, Yacob, Andrecka, Joanna, Kundegorski, Mikolaj ORCID logo ORCID: , Wilkie, Craig ORCID logo ORCID: , Brum, Eric ORCID logo ORCID: , Shirin, Tahmina, Alamgir, A.S.M., Rahman, Mahbubur ORCID logo ORCID: , Alam, Ahmed Nawsher ORCID logo ORCID: , Khan, Farzana, Swallow, Ben ORCID logo ORCID: , Mair, Frances S., Illian, Janine ORCID logo ORCID: , Trotter, Caroline L. ORCID logo ORCID: , Hill, Davina L. ORCID logo ORCID: , Husmeier, Dirk ORCID logo ORCID: , Matthiopoulos, Jason ORCID logo ORCID: , Hampson, Katie ORCID logo ORCID: and Sania, Ayesha (2022) Combining rapid antigen testing and syndromic surveillance improves community-based COVID-19 detection in a low-income country. Nature Communications, 13 (1). p. 2877.

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Diagnostics for COVID-19 detection are limited in many settings. Syndromic surveillance is often the only means to identify cases but lacks specificity. Rapid antigen testing is inexpensive and easy-to-deploy but can lack sensitivity. We examine how combining these approaches can improve surveillance for guiding interventions in low-income communities in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Rapid-antigen-testing with PCR validation was performed on 1172 symptomatically-identified individuals in their homes. Statistical models were fitted to predict PCR-status using rapid-antigen-test results, syndromic data, and their combination. Under contrasting epidemiological scenarios, the models’ predictive and classification performance was evaluated. Models combining rapid-antigen-testing and syndromic data yielded equal-to-better performance to rapid-antigen-test-only models across all scenarios with their best performance in the epidemic growth scenario. These results show that drawing on complementary strengths across rapid diagnostics, improves COVID-19 detection, and reduces false-positive and -negative diagnoses to match local requirements; improvements achievable without additional expense, or changes for patients or practitioners.

Item Type: Article
Journal / Publication Title: Nature Communications
Publisher: Nature Research
ISSN: 2041-1723
Departments: Institute of Science and Environment > STEM
Additional Information: This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. Davina Hill was Lecturer in Zoology at University of Cumbria, UK from 2016 to 2019.
Depositing User: Insight Administrator
SWORD Depositor: Insight Administrator
Date Deposited: 05 Jul 2022 13:17
Last Modified: 13 Jan 2024 13:30


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