Evaluation of the ID NOW among symptomatic individuals during the Omicron wave

J Med Microbiol. 2023 Feb;72(2). doi: 10.1099/jmm.0.001669.


Introduction. Starting in December, 2020, the ID NOW was implemented throughout the province of Alberta, Canada (population 4.4 million) in various settings.Gap statement. ID NOW's test performance with SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant BA.1 is unknown.Aim. To assess the ID NOW performance among symptomatic individuals during the BA.1 Omicron wave and compare it to previous SARS-CoV-2 variant waves.Methodology. The ID NOW was assessed in two locations among symptomatic individuals: rural hospitals and community assessment centres (AC) during the period 5-18 January 2022. Starting 5 January, Omicron represented >95 % of variants detected in our population. For every individual tested, two swabs were collected: one for ID NOW testing and the other for either reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) confirmation of negative ID NOW results or for variant testing of positive ID NOW results.Results. A total of 3041 paired samples were analysed (1139 RT-PCR positive). From this, 1873 samples were from 42 COVID-19 AC and 1168 from 69 rural hospitals. ID NOW sensitivity for symptomatic individuals presenting to community AC and rural hospitals was 96.0 % [95 % confidence interval (CI) 94.5-97.3 %, n=830 RT-PCR positive], and 91.6 % (95 % CI 87.9-94.4 %, n=309 RT-PCR positive), respectively. SARS-CoV-2 positivity rate was very high for both populations (44.3 % at AC, 26.5 % in hospital).Conclusions. Sensitivity of ID NOW SARS-CoV-2, compared to RT-PCR, is very high during the BA.1 Omicron wave, and is significantly higher when compared to previous SARS-CoV-2 variant waves.

Keywords: COVID-19; ID NOW; POCT; SARS-CoV-2; rapid diagnostics; symptomatic.

MeSH terms

  • COVID-19* / diagnosis
  • COVID-19* / epidemiology
  • Canada
  • Hospitals
  • Humans
  • SARS-CoV-2 / genetics

Supplementary concepts

  • SARS-CoV-2 variants