There is evidence that accurate identification of SARS-CoV-2 virus is affected by the source of the samples. Until now, it was known with certainty that the likelihood of obtaining a more accurate diagnosis was increased by collecting the sample by nasopharyngeal swab compared to nasal or oropharyngeal swabs.
Fig. 1 Differences between nasal swab, nasopharyngeal swab and oropharyngeal swab.
However, sample collection through the nasopharynx does not appear to be the only method that provides the highest reliability. A recent study published in the American Society for Microbiology compares the sensitivity between nasal swabs and nasopharyngeal swabs in a group of people. Thus, the study validates that the use of the nasal swab has almost equivalent sensitivity to the use of the nasopharyngeal swab (Péré et al., 2020).
ReOpenTest antigen test and nasal swab
Based on scientific evidence, and due to increased patient comfort, the reOpenTest antigen test has officially validated the collection of the sample from the anterior nasal cavity. In this way, results can be obtained with a sensitivity comparable to that obtained by nasopharyngeal swabbing.
Nasal swabbing is less invasive and generally less uncomfortable for the patient than sampling from other anatomical sites in the airways (nasopharyngeal or oropharyngeal swabbing). In addition, nasal swab collection can decrease the risk of exposure of healthcare personnel by: reducing the duration of the procedure, as well as coughing and sneezing induced by swab collection. In addition, this method has the advantage that patient instruction on how to perform self-collection can be considered.
Péré H., Podglajen I., Wack M., Flamarion E., Mirault T., Goudot G., Hauw-Berlemont C., Le L., Caudron E., Carrabin S., Rodary J., Ribeyre T., Bélec L., Veyer D. Nasal swab sampling for SARS-CoV-2: a convenient alternative in times of nasopharyngeal swab shortage. J. Clin. Microbiol. 2020;58(6):e00721–20
Anterior Nasal (Nares) Specimen Collection for SARS-CoV-2 Diagnostic Testing. OASH. 2020. Available in: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/downloads/lab/OASH-nasal-specimen-collection-fact-sheet_updates_2020_11_11_508.pdf