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Front Public Health ; 9: 788581, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1648288


Background: Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) antigen (Ag) tests have been widely employed to identify patients for a rapid diagnosis and pandemic control. Rapid lateral-flow techniques are currently the most used, but automated technologies have emerged as another viable alternative to molecular methods. We aimed to evaluate the analytical performance of the DiaSorin Liaison SARS-CoV-2 Ag test in asymptomatic population and close contacts, for its use as a tool in pandemic control efforts. Material and Methods: A retrospective study was conducted. A total of 861 samples were included, 291 (34%) were positive for SARS-CoV-2 with cycle threshold (Ct) <40, and 570 (66%) were negative. Results: A strong correlation was observed between reverse transcriptase-PCR (RT-PCR) Ct and Ag 50% Tissue Culture Infectious Dose per milliliter (TCID50/ml; r = 0.6486; p < 0.0001) and all RT-PCR negative samples tested negative for the 200 TCID50/ml SARS-Cov-2 Ag cutoff, i.e., a specificity of 100% was reached (95% CI: 99.4-100.0%). Samples with <25 Ct and/or >106 extrapolated copies/ml were reached a sensitivity of 100% (95% IC 97.0-100.0%). For intermediate viral loads (>105 extrapolated copies/ml or <30 Ct), the sensitivity value still exceeded 80%. As with other Ag methods, samples between 30 and 40 Ct could not be detected with a reliable sensitivity. Conclusions: The LIAISON® SARS-CoV-2 Ag assay displays an acceptable sensitivity and a very high specificity that is useful for detecting the presence of SARS-CoV-2 in nasal swabs (NPS) of asymptomatic population or to regular monitoring of risk groups in controlled settings. Additionally, the flexibility in processing different samples and in the sampling preparation process makes this test an option for its use in high throughput laboratories. Automated tests may facilitate result reporting and yield consistent data, while avoiding some of the pitfalls of rapid lateral-flow techniques, such as observer variability.

COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Humans , Pandemics , Retrospective Studies , Sensitivity and Specificity
Nat Genet ; 53(10): 1405-1414, 2021 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1447312


The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has affected the world radically since 2020. Spain was one of the European countries with the highest incidence during the first wave. As a part of a consortium to monitor and study the evolution of the epidemic, we sequenced 2,170 samples, diagnosed mostly before lockdown measures. Here, we identified at least 500 introductions from multiple international sources and documented the early rise of two dominant Spanish epidemic clades (SECs), probably amplified by superspreading events. Both SECs were related closely to the initial Asian variants of SARS-CoV-2 and spread widely across Spain. We inferred a substantial reduction in the effective reproductive number of both SECs due to public-health interventions (Re < 1), also reflected in the replacement of SECs by a new variant over the summer of 2020. In summary, we reveal a notable difference in the initial genetic makeup of SARS-CoV-2 in Spain compared with other European countries and show evidence to support the effectiveness of lockdown measures in controlling virus spread, even for the most successful genetic variants.

COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/transmission , Communicable Disease Control/organization & administration , Models, Statistical , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , COVID-19/virology , Communicable Disease Control/methods , Humans , Incidence , Phylogeny , Physical Distancing , Quarantine/methods , Quarantine/organization & administration , SARS-CoV-2/classification , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Severity of Illness Index , Spain/epidemiology
J Infect ; 82(6): 269-275, 2021 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1188792


BACKGROUND: Mass testing for early identification and isolation of infectious COVID-19 individuals is efficacious for reducing disease spread. Antigen-detecting rapid diagnostic tests (Ag-RDT) may be suitable for testing strategies; however, benchmark comparisons are scarce. METHODS: We used 286 nasopharyngeal specimens from unexposed asymptomatic individuals collected between December 2020 and January 2021 to assess five Ag-RDTs marketed by Abbott, Siemens, Roche Diagnostics, Lepu Medical, and Surescreen. RESULTS: For the overall sample, the performance parameters of Ag-RDTs were as follows: Abbott assay, sensitivity 38.6% (95%CI 29.1-48.8) and specificity 99.5% (97-100%); Siemens, sensitivity 51.5% (41.3-61.6) and specificity 98.4% (95.3-99.6); Roche, sensitivity 43.6% (33.7-53.8) and specificity 96.2% (92.4-98.5); Lepu, sensitivity 45.5% (35.6-55.8) and specificity 89.2% (83.8-93.3%); Surescreen, sensitivity 28.8% (20.2-38.6) and specificity 97.8% (94.5-99.4%). For specimens with cycle threshold (Ct) <30 in RT-qPCR, all Ag-RDT achieved a sensitivity ≥70%. The modelled negative- and positive-predictive value for 1% prevalence were >99% and <50%, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: When screening unexposed asymptomatic individuals, two Ag-RDTs achieved sensitivity ≥80% for specimens with Ct<30 and specificity ≥96%. The estimated negative predictive value suggests the suitability of Ag-RDTs for mass screenings of SARS-CoV-2 infection in the general population.

COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Antigens, Viral , Asymptomatic Infections , Benchmarking , Diagnostic Tests, Routine , Humans , Sensitivity and Specificity , Silver