The large volume of diagnostic tests required by the response to the pandemic of COVID-19 pandemic resulted in a shortage of commercial nasopharyngeal swabs. In an effort to alleviate the shortage, swabs created by 3D printing may be a solution. We designed and produced 3D printed swabs and sought to compare their ability to detect SARS-CoV-2 in patients admitted for COVID-19 or who were suspected of having COVID-19. A total of 30 patients were swabbed with a commercial and printed 3D swab. Results matched in 28 of 31 patients (90%). Two patients were discordant with a positive commercial swab and a negative 3D printed swab and another was discordant because the 3D printed swab was positive and the commercial swab was negative. The sensitivity was 89%, specificity was 92% and Cohen’s kappa coefficient was 0.80. The 3D printed swabs performed acceptably compared to the commercial swab and may be considered for use in lieu of a commercial swab.
The authors received no specific funding for this work
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Arnold, Forest W.; Grant, Gerald; Bressoud, Phillip F.; Furmanek, Stephen P.; Chung, Donghoon; Sbaih, Nadine; Karmali, Dipan; Cahill, Meredith; and Pantalos, George
"A Comparison Efficacy Study of Commercial Nasopharyngeal Swabs versus a Novel 3D Printed Swab for the Detection of SARS-CoV-2,"
The University of Louisville Journal of Respiratory Infections: Vol. 4
, Article 41.
Available at: https://ir.library.louisville.edu/jri/vol4/iss1/41