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Missed Ones

Researchers from the Cleveland Clinic assessed five of the most commonly used tests to detect SARS-CoV-2 to find that one in particular had a high false negative rate, NPR reports.

Cleveland Clinic's Gary Procop and his colleagues analyzed 239 samples known to contain the virus using five different diagnostic tests, including the Abbott ID Now test. That test is a point-of-care test that can give positive results in five minutes and negative results within about 13 minutes, as 360Dx reported in late March. But according to NPR, Procop and his colleagues found the test had a false-negative rate of 14.8 percent. Procop argues that a test should at least have a reliability of 95 percent, NPR adds, noting that the Cleveland Clinic researchers' analysis has yet to be peer-reviewed.

NPR adds that Abbott has defended its test. "ID Now performs as expected and we have confidence in the performance of the test," the company tells it in a statement. It adds that any problems with the test could be due to samples being stored in viral transport media prior to processing, rather than being placed directly in the machine.

The Cleveland Clinic has stopped using that test as well as DiaSorin's Simplexa, which only uncovered 89.3 percent of the positive samples in Procop's study, NPR adds. Other tests in the study include the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's test, another from Roche, and one from Cepheid, which could detect 100 percent, 96.5 percent, and 98.3 percent of positive samples, respectively, it says.