Figure 1

Nawazish Karim

and 11 more

Abstract Background Differentiating viral from bacterial acute respiratory infections (ARIs) remains challenging, due to the non-specific clinical manifestations. The COVID-19 pandemic is putting extraordinary strain on healthcare resources. To date, molecular testing is available but has a long turnaround time and therefore cannot provide results at the point-of-care (POC) thereby exposing COVID-19/Non-COVID-19 patients to each other while awaiting diagnosis. Methods This observational study prospectively evaluated the utility of a triage strategy including FebriDx, a POC fingerstick blood test that differentiates viral from bacterial ARIs through simultaneous detection of Myxovirus-resistance protein A (MxA) and C-reactive protein (CRP), in rapidly determining viral cases requiring immediate isolation and confirmatory molecular testing, from non-infectious patients or bacterial infections requiring antibiotics. Results 75 consecutive patients were screened, 48 eligible cases were tested with FebriDx, 36 were confirmed viral infection and 35/36 had COVID-19. 31/35 COVID-19 cases tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 via rRT-PCR and (4/35) had a clinical diagnosis of probable COVID-19 based on symptoms, epidemiological history, and chest imaging (PPV 100% (35/35)). 13 cases were FebriDx viral negative and rRT-PCR was also negative. In one case, it was not possible to determine the exact cause of infection, although a viral infection could not be excluded. Including this patient, FebriDx NPV was 92.3% (12/13), exceeding the NPV of rRT-PCR a 68.3% (13/19), and diagnostic sensitivity was conservatively calculated at 97% (35/36) compared to 82.9% (29/35) for initial rRT-PCR. The diagnostic specificity of both FebriDx and rRT-PCR was 100%. Conclusions: FebriDx could be deployed as part of a reliable triage strategy for identifying possible COVID-19 patients with symptomatic ARI in the COVID-19 pandemic. Key words: Pandemic; COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; pneumonia; viral; point of care; infection