SARS-CoV-2 rapid antigen testing of symptomatic and asymptomatic individuals on the University of Arizona campus

David T. Harris, Michael Badowski, Brandon Jernigan, Ryan Sprissler, Taylor Edwards, Randall Cohen, Stephen Paul, Nirav Merchant, Craig C. Weinkauf, Christian Bime, Heidi E. Erickson, Billie Bixby, Sairam Parthasarathy, Sachin Chaudhary, Bhupinder Natt, Elaine Cristan, Tammer El Aini, Franz Rischard, Janet Campion, Madhav ChopraMichael Insel, Afshin Sam, James L Knepler, Kenneth Knox, Jerrod Mosier, Catherine Spier, Michael D. Dake

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


SARS-CoV-2, the cause of COVID19, has caused a pandemic that has infected more than 80 M and killed more than 1.6 M persons worldwide. In the US as of December 2020, it has infected more than 32 M people while causing more than 570,000 deaths. As the pandemic persists, there has been a public demand to reopen schools and university campuses. To consider these demands, it is necessary to rapidly identify those individuals infected with the virus and isolate them so that disease transmission can be stopped. In the present study, we examined the sensitivity of the Quidel Rapid Antigen test for use in screening both symptomatic and asymptomatic individuals at the University of Arizona from June to August 2020. A total of 885 symptomatic and 1551 asymptomatic subjects were assessed by antigen testing and real-time PCR testing. The sensitivity of the test for both symptomatic and asymptomatic persons was between 82 and 90%, with some caveats.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number539
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2021


  • Asymptomatic
  • Diagnostic screening
  • PCR
  • Rapid antigen test
  • SARS-CoV-2

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology


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