Avoid rapid antigen tests for COVID-19, pathologists warn

The Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia says the tests aren't currently needed in this country and might lead to misdiagnosis

Rapid antigen tests should not be used routinely to diagnose COVID-19 in Australia given their relatively low sensitivity and the nation’s current low case numbers, say pathologists.

The point-of-care tests, which can deliver a result in about 15 minutes, are unreliable in low-prevalence settings, according to a new position statement released by the Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia (RCPA).

Broad use of the tests, which are more likely to produce false positives and false negatives, could lead to cases being