Rapid Antigen Tests (RAT) are a faster way of getting a result, but don’t replace PCR tests.
Each type of Rapid Antigen Test kit will have a similar procedure with most providing a result with 10 – 20 minutes, but make sure you check the full instructions for each kit because they may vary.
Click on the pictures below for test instruction videos
Abbot PanBio™ Covid-19 Rapid Antigen Self-Test Kit
ROCHE SARS-CoV-2-Rapid Antigen Test Video
Orient Gene SARS-CoV-2 Rapid Antigen Test Video
Test Instruction Sheet – Click Here
Ecotest SARS-CoV-2 Antigen Rapid Tests
Test Instruction Sheet – click here
Quality Standards & approval in Australia vary to those in NZ.
Please click here for the official NZ Ministry of Health website information on Rapid Antigen Testing.
The Austrialian Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) approved 15 different rapid antigen testing kits, and categorised them according to their clinical sensitivity. They based their judgment of the performance of each kit on studies done by the manufacturer that show the positive percent agreement (PPA) – the percentage of individuals that produced a positive test result using a rapid antigen test, in comparison with a positive result by PCR test.
A minimum clinical sensitivity a testing kit must achieve before it is approved was set at 80%, which it labels as “acceptable sensitivity”.
A kit with 90% PPA is labeled “high sensitivity” and a kit that records clinical sensitivity greater than 95% is considered to have “very high sensitivity”.
There were five kits that given the “very high sensitivity” label:
- All Test Sars-CoV-2 Antigen Rapid Test (Nasal Swab)
- Lyher Novel Coronavirus Antigen Test Kit (Nasal Swab)
- OnSite Covid-19 Ag Self Test (Nasal Swab)
- Panbio Covid-19 Antigen Self-Test (Nasal Swab)
- V-Chek Covid-19 Antigen Test (Saliva)
The following were given the “high sensitivity” label:
- All Test Covid-19 Antigen Rapid Test (Oral Fluid)
- Hough Covid-19 Home Test (Nasal Swab)
- My Covid Test Antigen Rapid Test (Oral Fluid)
- Orawell Covid-19 Ag Rapid Test (Saliva)
- RightSign Covid-19 Antigen Rapid Test Cassette (Nasal Swab)
- Testsealabs Covid-19 Antigen Test Cassette (Nasal Swab)
And finally, the tests rated as “acceptable sensitivity” were:
- Roche Sars-CoV-2 Antigen Self Test (Nasal Swab)
- InnoScreen Covid-19 Antigen Rapid Test (Nasal Swab)
- Ecotest Covid-19 Antigen Saliva Test kit (saliva)
- CareStart Covid-19 Antigen Home Test (Nasal Swab)
Although the varying degrees of clinical sensitivity are listed, any test approved by the TGA was worth using.
Rapid Antigen Tests don’t replace PCR tests, particularly for people with symptoms.
They are really a useful additional layer of screening that we should certainly be using, but making sure we understand that the performance is not exactly the same as those laboratory-based tests.
Rapid antigen testing kits cost roughly $6-15 per single test to purchase but if a member of your household has tested positive in the last ten days or has the symptoms then you should qualify ofr three free tests per member of your household – click here from more details.
Considering businesses are responsible for purchasing their own testing kits, the costs can be substantial if workers need to get tested every day to protect themselves and their colleagues.