What is Rapid Antigen Testing, and how accurate is it?

Rapid Antigen Tests are designed to support businesses, schools, and communities with fast and accurate diagnostics for SARS-CoV-2, thus minimising the risk of Covid-19 entering the workplace.

BST Group has access to a leading range of Covid-19 Antigen Test Kits.

Each kit contains everything needed for testing, making it extremely easy and convenient to use. This very cost-effective solution delivers highly accurate results in just 15 minutes.

The tests are done the same way as the clinic-run PCR test. Unfortunately, you still have to stick a swab up your nose. But, at least you won’t have to wait hours in a line to get that swab!

Nor do you have to isolate a day or more, because the results are rapidly revealed in 15 minutes.

How do Rapid Antigen Test Kits work?

Rapid antigen test cards use a strip, which is pre-coated with a gold conjugate that is rehydrated when a sample is applied. To get the result, you just add the nasal swab to the chemical solution, and then place that solution onto the reactive strip.

The control line (C) is coated with a monoclonal antibody that will react with a human sample. As the sample moves upward, this antibody will bind and trap normal antigens and show a line, indicating that the test is valid.

The test line (T) is coated with a human antibody specific to SARS-CoV-2 and will bind to any covid antigens present in the sample, turning the small coating into a different colour, thus indicating a positive test.

Are rapid antigen tests accurate?

RAT kits are not as accurate as PCR laboratory tests, because PCR is a very advanced lab-based testing method. However, depending on the manufacturer, antigen test kits are highly accurate. The MP Biomedical antigen test kit, which BST Group supply, is over 98% accurate. The proof is in the numbers, as more than 112 million of the tests have been distributed globally to over 20 countries.

The key benefit of an Antigen Test Kit is that false negatives do not occur, only invalid or false positives. In that case, immediately seek a professional opinion.

How long does RAT screening take?

RAT testing is a very rapid process, taking only 15 minutes to get a result, and about 20 minutes in total. In fact, waiting any longer than around 20 mins for a result can impact the integrity of the test.

LEGISLATION

Rapid Antigen Tests require strict adherence and clearance from the TGA (Therapeutic Goods Australia).

So that Rapid Antigen Tests are appropriately used, and the results are interpreted correctly, they can currently only be legally supplied under specific conditions. These include for use by trained health practitioners, and trained staff under their supervision, to ensure a suitable health practitioner is available to provide immediate clinical advice and treatment if required.

Can tests be performed by non-health practitioners?

Yes, however the person performing the test requires formal training in the correct use and interpretation of the tests, and must be deemed competent once the training has been performed. In the instance of a positive outcome, it is mandatory and important to have direct access to a qualified health practitioner who will advise of the procedures to follow.

Who requires training?

Everyone who will perform the test needs to be trained in the correct use of the device (including specimen collection) and interpretation of results. This training needs to be undertaken prior to commencement of any testing.

Please visit the TGA’s Q&A section for a comprehensive list of up-to-date information. 

Disclaimer: BST Group is providing information cited from the TGA website: Q&As - Conditions of supply for rapid antigen tests | Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA). The information provided is a guide and not legal advice. The information they provide is being updated constantly, please refer to the TGA website here and here  for the latest information.

Different state and territory jurisdictions may have differing testing requirements for essential workers, based on their public health orders. Please contact the relevant state or territory government or see their websites for how often mandatory tests are required.

RAPID ANTIGEN TESTING KIT CONTENTS:
20 x Sterilised Swabs
20 x Extraction Tubes
20 x Tube Dropper Caps
20 x Test Cards
20 x Sample Extraction Buffer
1 x Tube Stand

SAMPLE TYPE
Nasal, Nasopharyngeal, Oropharyngeal Swabs

SENSITIVITY
96.08% (nasopharyngeal)
96.23% (oropharyngeal)
96.19% (nasal)

SPECIFICITY
99.14% (nasopharyngeal)
99.20% (oropharyngeal)
99.20% (nasal)

ACCURACY
98.59% (nasopharyngeal)
97.84% (oropharyngeal)
97.83% (nasal)

STORAGE
2 – 30 °C

USAGE STATEMENT
The product is included on the ARTG for professional use at the point of care.

KEY APPLICATIONS
COVID-19 Diagnostics

TEST TYPE
Qualitative

DURATION
Results after 15 minutes

COUNTRIES TESTED
Germany, United Kingdom, Netherlands, Denmark, Italy, Switzerland

SUITABLE SECTORS
Education
Aged Care
Transport
Health
Housing
Government
Mining & Manufacturing
Corporate & Commercial
Roads

Find the Rapid Antigen Testing kits here

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