Nevin Manimala Statistics

A pilot surveillance report of SARS-CoV-2 rapid antigen test results among volunteers in Germany, 1st week of July 2022

Infection. 2022 Oct 24. doi: 10.1007/s15010-022-01931-7. Online ahead of print.


PURPOSE: We hypothesized that SARS-CoV-2 infection numbers reported by governmental institutions are underestimated due to high dark figures as only results from polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests are incorporated in governmental statistics and testing capacities were further restricted as of July, 2022.

METHODS: A point prevalence investigation was piloted by rapid antigen testing (RAT) among participants of the VACCELERATE volunteer registry. 2400 volunteers were contacted, of which 500 received a RAT including instructions for self-testing in the first week of July, 2022. Results were self-reported via e-mail.

RESULTS: 419 valid RAT results were collected until July 7th, 2022. Between July-1 and July-7, 2022, 7/419 (1.67%) tests were positive. Compared to reports of the German Federal Government, our results suggest a more than twofold higher prevalence. Three out of seven positive individuals did not have a PCR test and are therefore likely not to be displayed in governmental statistics.

CONCLUSION: Our findings imply that the actual prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 may be higher than detected by current surveillance systems, so that current pandemic surveillance and testing strategies may be adapted.

PMID:36279033 | DOI:10.1007/s15010-022-01931-7

By Nevin Manimala

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