Compare rapid antigen test brands: How do they stack up?
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:
|All Test COVID-19 Antigen Rapid Test (Oral Fluid) Self-Test (ICOV-802H)||Oral fluid||High sensitivity||AM Diagnostics|
|All Test SARS-CoV-2 Antigen Rapid Test (Nasal Swab) (ICOV-502H) Self-Test||Nasal swab||Very high sensitivity||AM Diagnostics|
|CareStart COVID-19 Antigen Home Test||Nasal swab||Acceptable sensitivity||Pantonic Pty Ltd|
|Cellife Covid-19 Antigen Test Cassette for self-testing||Nasal swab||Very high sensitivity||Australia Health Products Central Pty Ltd|
|Clungene Covid-19 Antigen Rapid Test for self-testing||Nasal swab||Very high sensitivity||APAC Security Pty Ltd|
|Ecotest COVID-19 Antigen Saliva Test kit (COV-S35Pen)||Saliva||Acceptable sensitivity||Emergence Technology Pty Ltd|
|Flowflex SARS-CoV-2 Antigen Rapid Test (Self-Testing)||Nasal swab||Very high sensitivity||AusDiagnostics Pty Ltd|
|Flowflex SARS-CoV-2 Antigen Rapid Test (Self-Testing)||Nasal swab||Very high sensitivity||Orvato Healthcare Pty Ltd|
|Hough COVID-19 Home Test||Nasal swab||High sensitivity||Hough Pharma Pty Ltd|
|Innoscreen COVID-19 Antigen Test Device (Self Test)||Nasal swab||Acceptable sensitivity||Innovation Scientific Pty Ltd|
|JusChek COVID-19 Antigen Rapid Test (Oral Fluid) ICOV-802H Self Test||Oral fluid||High sensitivity||Compliance Management Solutions|
|JusChek SARS-CoV-2 Antigen Rapid Test (Nasal Swab) INCP-502H Self Test||Nasal swab||High sensitivity||Compliance Management Solutions|
|LYHER Novel Coronavirus (Covid-19) Antigen Test Kit (colloidal Gold) Self-Test||Nasal swab||Very high sensitivity||2San Pty Ltd|
|My Covid Test Antigen Rapid Test (Oral Fluid) (ICOV-802H) Self-Test||Oral fluid||High sensitivity||AM Diagnostics|
|OnSite COVID-19 Ag Self Test||Nasal swab||Very high sensitivity||MD Solutions Australasia Pty Ltd|
|Orawell COVID-19 Ag Rapid saliva test device (Self-test)||Saliva||High sensitivity||Motion One Pty Ltd|
|Panbio COVID-19 Antigen Self-Test||Nasal swab||Very high sensitivity||Abbott Rapid Diagnostics Pty Ltd|
|Rapid SARS-COV-2 Antigen Test Card Self-test||Nasal swab||Very high sensitivity||Medsupply Australia Pty Ltd|
|RightSign COVID-19 Antigen Rapid Test Cassette (Nasal Swab)||Nasal swab||High sensitivity||Medsupply Australia Pty Ltd|
|SARS-CoV-2 Antigen Self Test Nasal||Nasal swab||Acceptable sensitivity||Roche Diagnostics Australia Pty Limited|
|TESTSEALABS COVID-19 Antigen Test Cassette||Nasal swab||High sensitivity||Pharma Soul Pty Ltd|
|V-Chek COVID-19 Antigen Saliva Test||Saliva||Very high sensitivity||Cole Workwear PL|
Looking to purchase tests? See our where to buy guide which is updated regularly.