Study Analyzes Use of a Single At-Home Rapid Test for RSV, COVID-19, Flu


The at-home test offers the availability to assess for all viruses using one tool.

The City University of New York (CUNY) Institute for Implementation Science in Population Health (ISPH) and the CUNY Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy (CUNY SPH), in collaboration with Pfizer, are initiating the 2-year prospective epidemiologic study Project PROTECTS, which is aimed at tracking acute respiratory infections across the United States. The study commences in the spring of 2024 and will be assessing the use of one rapid test on 4 separate viruses.1

Medicine, quarantine and pandemic concept - close up of woman making self testing coronavirus test at home - Image credit: Syda Productions |

Image credit: Syda Productions |

The Project PROTECTS (Prospective Respiratory Outcomes from Tracking and Evaluating Community-based TeSting) study is an extension of the previous CHASING (Communities, Households and SARS-CoV-2 Epidemiology) COVID cohort study. The CHASING COVID study evaluated SARS-CoV-2 infection rates and risks using 22 questionnaires and 4 rounds of at-home serological testing.1,2

“The sustained engagement of CHASING COVID Cohort Study participants has made the cohort one of the most enduring and thorough community-based studies of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, and represents an invaluable resource for ongoing scientific inquiry,” said principal investigator Denis Nash, CUNY SPH distinguished professor of epidemiology, in a press release.1

However, the current study is aimed to analyze RSV, influenza A and B, along with SARS-CoV-2, assessing a single at-home rapid and polymerase chain reaction testing to track symptoms and severity of each infection. The at-home test offers the availability to assess for all for viruses, using one testing tool.1

Further, the study authors noted that Project PROTECTS intends to include around 6000 individuals in this study—including individuals that were previously enrolled in CHASING COVID. The individuals included in the study will be required to complete questionaries every quarter on a web platform or mobile app that is catered to the study, and asks about existing symptoms, health status, quality of life, occupational activities, vaccination history, past respiratory illnesses, and health care utilization.1

“The study will address significant gaps in our understanding of the prolonged effects of these viruses on daily life, in the context of existing vaccines, background immunity, and treatments,” said Nash in a press release.1

Over the duration of the study, if an individual presents acute respiratory infection symptoms, they will then use the multi-pathogen rapid test to evaluate which one or more infection they are experiencing. Following a positive test result, the individual would be required to complete questionaries over a 6-month period that outlines symptoms, health care visits, treatment, and clinical diagnoses.1 The study is reported to begin the spring of 2024.

“The findings are expected to be pivotal in shaping future public health strategies and interventions to mitigate the impact of severe respiratory viruses on population health outcomes,” said Nash in a press release.1

  1. New project will use next-gen at-home rapid test to track COVID-19, RSV, and flu. EurekAlert!. News release. March 4, 2024. Accessed March 5, 2024.
  2. CHASING COVID Cohort Study. Institute for Implementation Science in Population Health. News release. Accessed March 5, 2024.

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