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HOPE Scientific studies

COVID-19 infection with rapid virus antigen test

Study: Covid-19 infection test with rapid virus antigen test

Collaborating parties: Public Health Agency of Sweden, General practitioners and Pandemic Centre at SciLifeLab and Karolinska Institutet.

Background and purpose

The purpose of the study is to investigate:

  • How Covid-19 is spread in society and in healthcare
  • Whether rapid testing for infection is helpful in quickly detecting and preventing infection

All staff working in aged care residential facilities are offered the opportunity to participate in the study. Participation in the study is entirely voluntary. The responsible research body for the study consists of Karolinska Institute, the Public Health Agency of Sweden and General practitioners in Saltsjöbaden


Healthcare staff take two samples from staff at aged care residential facilities at the workplace. A rapid tests for which staff get the results after approx. 20 minutes and a PCR sample that is sent to the laboratory.

  • Sample 1. Sample from the nose, throat and saliva to detect virus with PCR analysis at the laboratory.
  • A soft swab is inserted into the throat for several seconds, the same swab is then inserted into the nose for several seconds. Saliva is then collected on a plate or in a cup and the swab dipped in the saliva.
  • Sample 2. Sample taken from the posterior nasal wall for rapid testing to detect viral antigen in situ.
  • A soft, thin swab is inserted into the nose for several seconds.
  • Sample  1 must then be placed in the accompanying test tube and analysed for the presence of SARS-Cov-2 virus at Karolinska Institutet. Sample 2 is put into another test tube for in situ analysis using a rapid virus antigen test.


If rapid testing shows that a staff member is infected, the staff member must leave work, go home and follow the recommendations of the Public Health Agency of Sweden and self-isolate at home. A doctor will then contact the staff member with advice on what the patient should do and whether others in the same household need to be tested, as well as to offer a sick leave allowance certificate. Staff  receive support at evey srtep of the testing process and notifications alert staff before each new step. Staff have access to their test results (PCR and rapid test) and response using dynamic forms by logging in to the HOPE App.

Automated triage locks the patient to the relevant level of care in accordance with predetermined criteria.

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