Skip to main content
Open Access Publications from the University of California


UC San Francisco Previously Published Works bannerUCSF

Performance characteristics of a rapid SARS-CoV-2 antigen detection assay at a public plaza testing site in San Francisco.

  • Author(s): Pilarowski, Genay
  • Lebel, Paul
  • Sunshine, Sara
  • Liu, Jamin
  • Crawford, Emily
  • Marquez, Carina
  • Rubio, Luis
  • Chamie, Gabriel
  • Martinez, Jackie
  • Peng, James
  • Black, Douglas
  • Wu, Wesley
  • Pak, John
  • Laurie, Matthew T
  • Jones, Diane
  • Miller, Steve
  • Jacobo, Jon
  • Rojas, Susana
  • Rojas, Susy
  • Nakamura, Robert
  • Tulier-Laiwa, Valerie
  • Petersen, Maya
  • Havlir, Diane V
  • CLIAHUB Consortium
  • DeRisi, Joseph
  • et al.

We evaluated the performance of the Abbott BinaxNOW TM Covid-19 rapid antigen test (Binax-CoV2) to detect virus among persons, regardless of symptoms, at a public plaza site of ongoing community transmission. Titration with cultured SARS-CoV-2 yielded a human observable threshold between 1.6x10 4-4.3x10 4 viral RNA copies (cycle threshold (Ct) of 30.3-28.8). Among 878 subjects tested, 3% (26/878) were positive by RT-PCR, of which 15/26 had Ct<30, indicating high viral load. 40% (6/15) of Ct<30 were asymptomatic. Using this Ct<30 threshold for Binax-CoV2 evaluation, the sensitivity of Binax-CoV2 was 93.3% (14/15), 95% CI: 68.1-99.8%, and the specificity was 99.9% (855/856), 95% CI: 99.4-99.9%.

Many UC-authored scholarly publications are freely available on this site because of the UC's open access policies. Let us know how this access is important for you.

Main Content
Current View