False Positive

The American Health Care Association and LeadingAge revealed that 20 to 25% of nursing homes have received false positive results from their COVID-19 point-of-care antigen testing devices. The results were discovered incorrect after using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing.

Experts stated that the benefit of antigen tests is the reliability of a positive result. They opined that those who tested positive for COVID-19 with the point-of-care tests truly are, while those who test negative may want to double-check the results with the established polymerase chain reaction tests. The study’s findings contradict this notion.

The groups collaborated on the survey to determining accuracy of the Becton Dickson Veritor and Quidel Sofia-2 point-of-care antigen systems. Trump sent these tests to all nursing homes to aid their testing efforts. The survey comes after reports that some antigen testing equipment was producing false positive results for some providers.

Both BD and Quidel are conducting internal investigations. They blame the unreliable test results on user error.

“It’s important for all providers to double check they are following the manufacturer’s protocols and have staff appropriately trained on the use of each analyzer,” they wrote. We must confirm the accuracy of point of care tests.