Compare rapid antigen test brands: How do they stack up?

Posted: 13 January 2022 3:21 pm
News
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Not all tests are created equal... here are the different brands compared.

While COVID-19 cases increase drastically across the country, some states including New South Wales and Victoria have moved to using rapid antigen tests to confirm COVID-19 cases.

This has come about as polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing clinics face supply shortages and high demand.

Rapid antigen tests (or RATs) use different processes to PCR tests, but come with varying levels of accuracy.

There are currently 22 tests approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) for at-home use in Australia, with the TGA applying a clinical sensitivity rating to each one.

These ratings are based on performance tests done on each kit showing the positive percent agreement (PPA) compared with the results produced by PCR testing.

These ratings include:

  • Very high sensitivity: Clinical sensitivity greater than 95% PPA
  • High sensitivity: Clinical sensitivity greater than 90% PPA
  • Acceptable sensitivity: Clinical sensitivity greater than 80% PPA

Tests come in 2 types – some require a nasal swab similar to the process of getting a PCR test, while others require an oral fluid or saliva sample.

"While a negative rapid antigen test result is not a guarantee that you aren't infected, it does provide more protection for your contacts than not testing," Thea van de Mortel, deputy head of the school of nursing and midwifery at Griffith University, wrote in a guide for The Conversation.

Here's how each TGA-approved at-home rapid test compares on sensitivity and type:

NameTypePPA sensitivitySupplier
All Test COVID-19 Antigen Rapid Test (Oral Fluid) Self-Test (ICOV-802H)Oral fluidHigh sensitivityAM Diagnostics
All Test SARS-CoV-2 Antigen Rapid Test (Nasal Swab) (ICOV-502H) Self-TestNasal swabVery high sensitivityAM Diagnostics
CareStart COVID-19 Antigen Home TestNasal swabAcceptable sensitivityPantonic Pty Ltd
Cellife Covid-19 Antigen Test Cassette for self-testingNasal swabVery high sensitivityAustralia Health Products Central Pty Ltd
Clungene Covid-19 Antigen Rapid Test for self-testingNasal swabVery high sensitivityAPAC Security Pty Ltd
Ecotest COVID-19 Antigen Saliva Test kit (COV-S35Pen)SalivaAcceptable sensitivityEmergence Technology Pty Ltd
Flowflex SARS-CoV-2 Antigen Rapid Test (Self-Testing)Nasal swabVery high sensitivityAusDiagnostics Pty Ltd
Flowflex SARS-CoV-2 Antigen Rapid Test (Self-Testing)Nasal swabVery high sensitivityOrvato Healthcare Pty Ltd
Hough COVID-19 Home TestNasal swabHigh sensitivityHough Pharma Pty Ltd
Innoscreen COVID-19 Antigen Test Device (Self Test)Nasal swabAcceptable sensitivityInnovation Scientific Pty Ltd
JusChek COVID-19 Antigen Rapid Test (Oral Fluid) ICOV-802H Self TestOral fluidHigh sensitivityCompliance Management Solutions
JusChek SARS-CoV-2 Antigen Rapid Test (Nasal Swab) INCP-502H Self TestNasal swabHigh sensitivityCompliance Management Solutions
LYHER Novel Coronavirus (Covid-19) Antigen Test Kit (colloidal Gold) Self-TestNasal swabVery high sensitivity2San Pty Ltd
My Covid Test Antigen Rapid Test (Oral Fluid) (ICOV-802H) Self-TestOral fluidHigh sensitivityAM Diagnostics
OnSite COVID-19 Ag Self TestNasal swabVery high sensitivityMD Solutions Australasia Pty Ltd
Orawell COVID-19 Ag Rapid saliva test device (Self-test)SalivaHigh sensitivityMotion One Pty Ltd
Panbio COVID-19 Antigen Self-TestNasal swabVery high sensitivityAbbott Rapid Diagnostics Pty Ltd
Rapid SARS-COV-2 Antigen Test Card Self-testNasal swabVery high sensitivityMedsupply Australia Pty Ltd
RightSign COVID-19 Antigen Rapid Test Cassette (Nasal Swab)Nasal swabHigh sensitivityMedsupply Australia Pty Ltd
SARS-CoV-2 Antigen Self Test NasalNasal swabAcceptable sensitivityRoche Diagnostics Australia Pty Limited
TESTSEALABS COVID-19 Antigen Test CassetteNasal swabHigh sensitivityPharma Soul Pty Ltd
V-Chek COVID-19 Antigen Saliva TestSalivaVery high sensitivityCole Workwear PL

Looking to purchase tests? See our where to buy guide which is updated regularly.

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