Accuracy of Low-cost Point-of-Care FebriDx Test for Diagnosing COVID-19

Dawn O'Shea

July 30, 2020

Researchers at the University of Southampton have reported that a low cost, instrument-free, disposable point-of-care test (POCT) can accurately diagnosis COVID-19.

FebriDx (Lumos diagnostics, Sarasota, Florida, US) is a CE-marked POCT that detects two host response proteins, Myxovirus resistance protein A and C reactive protein, in finger-prick blood samples, and is designed to distinguish viral from bacterial respiratory infection.

This real-world study examined the diagnostic accuracy of FebriDx in hospitalised patients during the first wave of the pandemic. FebriDx results were compared to the reference standard of SARS-CoV-2 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) on combined nose and throat swabs.

FebriDx was performed on 251 patients and gave a valid result in 248. A total of 118 of 248 (48%) were PCR positive for COVID-19.

FebriDx results were available after 10 minutes compared with 1.7 (95% CI, 1.6-2.1) hours with POCT using PCR and 23.4 (95% CI, 17.2-31.1) hours with laboratory PCR testing.

Sensitivity of FebriDx for the identification of COVID-19 was 93 per cent (95% CI, 87%-97%) and specificity was 86 per cent (95% CI, 79%-92%). Positive and negative likelihood ratios were 6.73 (95% CI, 4.37-10.37) and 0.08 (95% CI, 0.04-0.15), respectively.

In the multivariate model, age, sex and other clinical features did not contribute significantly to the effect of the FebriDx result in distinguishing patients with and without COVID-19.

Presenting the result in the  Journal of Infection, the authors suggest FebriDx could be deployed in the NHS as a front door triage tool.

Clark TW, Brendish NJ, Poole S, Naidu VV, Mansbridge C, Norton N, Wheeler H, Presland L, Ewings S. Diagnostic accuracy of the FebriDx host response point-of-care test in patients hospitalised with suspected COVID-19. J Infect. 2020 Jun 21 [Epub ahead of print]. doi: 10.1016/j.jinf.2020.06.051. PMID: 32579983.  Full text.

This article originally appeared on Univadis, part of the Medscape Professional Network.

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