Validation of a 3-D printed Nasopharyngeal Swab for SARS-CoV
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According to a newer study, the 3-dimensionally printed nasopharyngeal (3DP) swab performed accurately and consistently across health care institutions and may help mitigate strained resources in the escalating COVID-19 pandemic.

The objective of a study published by JAMA Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery was to determine the accuracy and acceptability of the 3DP swab for identifying severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2.

A diagnostic study was conducted with different reference swabs and swab processing techniques (wet or dry) to evaluate the performance of the 3DP swab compared with traditional, standard-of-care nasopharyngeal swabs used in health care institutions. The participants were patients with COVID-19 in the first 2 weeks of illness and controls with acute respiratory illness with negative test results for SARS-CoV-2. Paired nasopharyngeal swabs were obtained from the same nostril and tested for SARS-CoV-2 by a reverse-transcriptase PCR.

A total of 79 patients with COVID-19 and 10 controls were recruited.

--Among the patients with COVID-19, the overall agreement and positive percentage agreement (PPA) of the 3DP swab was 91.1% and 93.5%, respectively, compared with reference swabs.

--The PPA was 100% for patients with COVID-19 who were tested within the first week of illness. All controls tested negative.

--The reverse-transcriptase PCR Ct values for the ORF1ab and E-gene targets showed a strong correlation between the 3DP and reference swab on independent testing at each institution despite differences in sample processing. Discordant results for both gene targets were observed only at high Ct values.

Overall, the 3DP swab performed accurately and consistently and could help mitigate strained resources in the escalating pandemic.

Source: https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamaotolaryngology/fullarticle/2776745
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