COVID-19 Testing

Summary of MUSC SARS-CoV-2 Assays

Characteristic BD Veritor plus Abbott IDnow Cepheid Express Abbott m2000/Alinity m

Immuno-chromatographic assay

Isothermal NEAR amplification
Real-time PCR
Real-time PCR
SARS-CoV-2 Antigen

 Multiplex test including SARS-CoV-2, INF A and B, and RSV RNA

Point(s) of service
POCT and in lab
in lab
Analysis time
15 min
5 to 15 min
25-36 min
8 hr (m2000), 2-6 hr (Alinity)
Turnaround Time

not stated, performed at point of care

not stated, performed at point of care

2 hr

24 hr


Dry nasal swab

Dry nasal swab or NP swab

NP swabs in 3ml UTM or saline

NP swabs in 3ml UTM or saline;

Mid-Turbinate (MT) swab in 3 ml UTM or saline

EPIC lab number

POC 310

POC 309

POC 311

LAB 8994

LAB 8572

Best use case scenarios

Symptomatic individuals

Symptomatic individuals (asymptomatic?)

Symptomatic and asymptomatic individuals

Symptomatic and asymptomatic individuals

Limit of detection (copies/ml)






Sensitivity  84% 94.4% 97.8% 100%
Specificity  100% 99.3% 95.6% 96.5%


There are multiple COVID-19 tests available to detect the SARS-CoV-2 virus. There are rapid tests, which look for antigens that will indicate if a patient is actively infected with SARS-CoV-2. These antigen tests are rapid, but often less sensitive than a molecular test. Rapid tests also increase the possibility of a false positive and are most sensitive within the first days of symptom onset. Rapid tests are highly specific, giving you confidence that if you test positive you are positive. Molecular tests, also referred to as nucleic acid amplification tests, include extraction of RNA from the patient and them amplification using polymerase chain reaction (PCR). The possibility of getting a false positive is lowest with a molecular test.

Retired Molecular Diagnostic Assays:

  • Cepheid SARS-CoV-2 assay
  • BioFire COVID-19 Assay, no crossing threshold value available
  • ThermoFisher TaqPath Combo SARS-CoV-2 assay
  • Hologic Aptima SARS-CoV-2 assay (transcription-mediated amplification), no crossing threshold value available


COVID-19 testing began at MUSC on March 23rd, 2020.


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