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Mem Inst Oswaldo Cruz ; 117: e220050, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1910750


BACKGROUND: Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) omicron variant was first detected in South Africa in November 2021. Since then, the number of cases due to this variant increases enormously every day in different parts of the world. Mutations within omicron genome may impair the molecular detection resulting in false negative results during Coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19) diagnosis. OBJECTIVES: To verify if colorimetric reverse transcription loop-mediated isothermal amplification (RT-LAMP) targeting N and E genes would work efficiently to detect omicron SARS-CoV-2 variant and its sub-lineages. METHODS: SARS-CoV-2 reverse transcription quantitative polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR) positive samples were sequenced by next generation DNA sequencing. The consensus sequences generated were submitted to Pangolin tool for SARS-CoV-2 lineage identification. RT-LAMP reactions were performed at 65ºC/30 min targeting N and E. FINDINGS: SARS-CoV-2 omicron can be detected by RT-LAMP targeting N and E genes despite the genomic mutation of this more transmissible lineage. Omicron SARS-CoV-2 sub-lineages were tested and efficiently detected by RT-LAMP. We demonstrated that this test is very sensitive in detecting omicron variant, with LoD as low as 0.4 copies/µL. MAIN CONCLUSIONS: Molecular detection of omicron SARS-CoV-2 variant and its sub-lineages can be achieved by RT-LAMP despite the genomic mutations as a very sensitive surveillance tool for COVID-19 molecular diagnosis.

COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19/diagnosis , Genomics , Humans , Molecular Diagnostic Techniques/methods , Mutation/genetics , Nucleic Acid Amplification Techniques/methods , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Sensitivity and Specificity
Eur Respir J ; 58(1)2021 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-999707


BACKGROUND: Nitazoxanide is widely available and exerts broad-spectrum antiviral activity in vitro. However, there is no evidence of its impact on severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection. METHODS: In a multicentre, randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, adult patients presenting up to 3 days after onset of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) symptoms (dry cough, fever and/or fatigue) were enrolled. After confirmation of SARS-CoV-2 infection using reverse transcriptase PCR on a nasopharyngeal swab, patients were randomised 1:1 to receive either nitazoxanide (500 mg) or placebo, three times daily, for 5 days. The primary outcome was complete resolution of symptoms. Secondary outcomes were viral load, laboratory tests, serum biomarkers of inflammation and hospitalisation rate. Adverse events were also assessed. RESULTS: From June 8 to August 20, 2020, 1575 patients were screened. Of these, 392 (198 placebo, 194 nitazoxanide) were analysed. Median (interquartile range) time from symptom onset to first dose of study drug was 5 (4-5) days. At the 5-day study visit, symptom resolution did not differ between the nitazoxanide and placebo arms. Swabs collected were negative for SARS-CoV-2 in 29.9% of patients in the nitazoxanide arm versus 18.2% in the placebo arm (p=0.009). Viral load was reduced after nitazoxanide compared to placebo (p=0.006). The percentage viral load reduction from onset to end of therapy was higher with nitazoxanide (55%) than placebo (45%) (p=0.013). Other secondary outcomes were not significantly different. No serious adverse events were observed. CONCLUSIONS: In patients with mild COVID-19, symptom resolution did not differ between nitazoxanide and placebo groups after 5 days of therapy. However, early nitazoxanide therapy was safe and reduced viral load significantly.

COVID-19 , Adult , Humans , Nitro Compounds , SARS-CoV-2 , Thiazoles , Treatment Outcome