How MEDsan saved a Bundesliga football match from cancellation with rapid antigen testing

Case Study  -  October 26th 2020

How MEDsan saved a Bundesliga football match from cancellation with rapid antigen testing

MEDsan’s rapid antigen tests were used to save a Bundesliga second division game between Würzburger Kickers and Hamburger SV.

Prior to the match against Hamburger SV, a player and two assistant coaches from Germany’s Bundesliga second-division team Würzburger Kickers were falsely tested positive for coronavirus.

Central defender Douglas and assistant coaches Kurtulus Öztürk and Philipp Eckart received positive test results on Saturday at 01:00am, several hours following their laboratory PCR testing on Friday and were immediately isolated by the football club.

The scheduled game later that day was therefore facing cancellation. Time was of the essence. Opponents Hamburger SV recommended the option of rapid antigen testing to save the game. Hamburg-based sanaGroup was contacted to attend the stadium to administer rapid testing, which it sells under its spin-off brand, MEDsan.

MEDsan offers both antigen tests and PCR testing as rapid tests, whereby the result for the antigen tests is usually available after 15 minutes, and the PCR tests, which are considered to be very safe, after just under an hour and corresponds to laboratory standards. In comparison to laboratory testing, MEDsan’s mobile rapid tests omit several steps which can be responsible for errors and thus incorrect results – making the MEDsan test more reliable than laboratory testing and less likely to produce false positives.

Since MEDsan’s tests are already approved and have already been used previously by Hamburger SV, they could be used on the affected Würzburgers. All produced negative results in a short timeframe – and the game was saved. If the result was positive, further testing would probably have been carried out in order to be able to distinguish the infected from the healthy team members on site.

False positive of laboratory PCR tests caused the possible cancellation

It is now clear why the results of the rapid tests deviated from those of the laboratory tests. The results of the laboratory tests carried out on Friday were confirmed as “false positives”, as the Kickers announced later that evening. All three team members affected were able to end their quarantine at home and participate in training on Sunday.

“We were busy testing the whole morning,” said Kickers coach Marco Antwerpen in an interview with Sky. “The dining room looked like a test laboratory. All hygiene measures have been observed” said the Würzburg coach. The association is in constant contact with the German Football League and the health department in Würzburg. Antwerpen said he has “complete confidence” in the rapid antigen testing carried out to save the game.

This event was covered by Hamburg-based newspaper Hamburger Abendblatt, read the full story here.