Study Findings Argue Against False-Positive SARS-CoV-2 Results Due to Droplet or Airborne Contamination

The rapid spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic urged immense testing capacities as one cornerstone of infection control. Many institutions opened outpatient SARS-CoV-2 test centers to allow large number of tests in comparatively short time frames. With increasing positive test rates, concerns for a possible airborne or droplet contamination of specimens leading to false-positive results were raised.

In the experimental series performed by Scheier, et al. (2021) in a dedicated SARS-CoV-2 test center, 40 open collection tubes placed for defined time periods in proximity to individuals were found to be SARS-CoV-2 negative. These findings argue against false-positive SARS-CoV-2 results due to droplet or airborne contamination., the researchers say.

Reference: Scheier T, et al. Do we cause false positives? An experimental series on droplet or airborne SARS-CoV-2 contamination of sampling tubes during swab collection in a test center. Antimicrobial Resistance & Infection Control. Volume 10, Article number 51. 2021.

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