Accurate Detection of Streptococcus pyogenes at the Point of Care Using the cobas Liat Strep A Nucleic Acid Test

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Abstract

The performance of a polymerase chain reaction–based point-of-care assay, the cobas Strep A Nucleic Acid Test for use on the cobas Liat System (cobas Liat Strep A assay), for the detection of group A Streptococcus bacteria was evaluated in primary care settings. Throat swab specimens from 427 patients were tested with the cobas Liat Strep A assay and a rapid antigen detection test (RADT) by existing medical staff at 5 primary care clinics, and results were compared with bacterial culture. The cobas Liat Strep A assay demonstrated equivalent sensitivity (97.7%) and specificity (93.3%) to reference culture with a 15-minute turnaround time. In comparison to RADTs, the cobas Liat Strep A assay showed improved sensitivity (97.7% Liat vs 84.5% RADT). The Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments–waived cobas Liat Strep A assay demonstrated the ease of use and improved turnaround time of RADTs along with the sensitivity of culture.

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