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1.
International Journal of Infectious Diseases ; 2022.
Article in English | ScienceDirect | ID: covidwho-2007749

ABSTRACT

Objectives Since April 2022, another wave of the Omicron epidemic stroke Taiwan society, and children with severe neurological complications have been reported frequently. A few cases even developed acute fulminant encephalitis. To investigate the possible causes of the increased incidence of such complications here in Taiwan, we reviewed several cases of pediatric patients with severe neurological symptoms. Materials and Methods We collected the medical records of pediatric patients with COVID-19 infection who presented with severe neurological symptoms. The COVID-19 infection was diagnosed by nasal swab RT-PCR. The remained samples were sent for whole-genome sequencing and S protein amino acid variation mapping. Results The increased of several inflammatory markers was observed in all patients included in this article displayed. However, none of the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) samples tested positive for SARS-CoV-2. The result of WGS showed that all the sequences belonged to the lineage BA.2.3.7. However, the sequences had a K97E mutation in the S protein that differed from other BA.2.3.7 lineage strains which was located at the spike protein N-terminal domain. Conclusions The new mutation in the S protein, which had not previously been observed but was discovered in this study, potentially explains the sudden increase in incidence of extremely adverse neurological symptoms in pediatric patients.

2.
J Chin Med Assoc ; 2022 Jun 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1901279

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) inpatients may acquire infections from other pathogens during hospital admission. This is the first research on this subject to be reported from Taiwan. METHODS: Confirmed COVID-19 inpatients were enrolled in this study from January 1, 2020 to July 31, 2021. Various types of pathogens in COVID-19 inpatients, with hospital-acquired infections, were identified and analyzed. The clinical characteristics of COVID-19 patients with and without hospital-acquired infections were reviewed and compared. RESULTS: Of the 204 patients included in the study, 32 (15.7%) patients experienced at least 1 infectious episode. Of 113 recorded episodes of infection, the predominant type was bacterial (88 of 113 infections, 77.9%); the most frequently isolated bacteria were Acinetobacter spp., followed by Stenotrophomonas maltophilia. With regard to viral infections (19 of 113, 16.8%), the Epstein-Barr virus ranked first place among the identified viruses. Four (3.5%) and 2 (1.8%) of 113 infectious episodes were caused by fungi and atypical pathogens. A multivariate analysis revealed that steroid use was an independent factor in hospital-acquired infections [odds ratio (OR): 6.97; 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.15-42.43; p = 0.035]. Patients with hospital-acquired infections were associated with increased 28-day and in-hospital mortality (18.8% vs. 5.8% and 31.3% and 5.8%, p = 0.023 and < 0.01, respectively), and a longer hospital stay (34 vs. 19 days, p < 0.001), compared to those without hospital-acquired infections. CONCLUSION: Our study revealed a unique local epidemiology of hospital-acquired infections among COVID-19 inpatients in Taiwan. These patients were associated with increased mortality and prolonged hospital admissions.

3.
Aging (Albany NY) ; 14(11): 4624-4633, 2022 06 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1879716

ABSTRACT

Since the late 2020, the evolution of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) variants of concern has been characterized by the emergence of spike protein mutations, and these variants have become dominant worldwide. The gold standard SARS-CoV-2 diagnosis protocol requires two complex processes, namely, RNA extraction and real-time reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). There is a need for a faster, simpler, and more cost-effective detection strategy that can be utilized worldwide, especially in developing countries. We propose the novel use of direct RT-qPCR, which does not require RNA extraction or a preheating step. For the detection, retrospectively, we used 770 clinical nasopharyngeal swabs, including positive and negative samples. The samples were subjected to RT-qPCR in the N1 and E genes using two different thermocyclers. The limit of detection was 30 copies/reaction for N1 and 60 copies/reaction for E. Analytical sensitivity was assessed for the developed direct RT-qPCR; the sensitivity was 95.69%, negative predictive value was 99.9%, accuracy of 99.35%, and area under the curve was 0.978. This novel direct RT-qPCR diagnosis method without RNA extraction is a reliable and high-throughput alternative method that can significantly save cost, labor, and time during the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19 Testing , Clinical Laboratory Techniques/methods , Cost-Benefit Analysis , Humans , RNA, Viral/genetics , Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction/methods , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Sensitivity and Specificity
4.
Front Cell Infect Microbiol ; 12: 862656, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1875399

ABSTRACT

Objectives: To assess humoral and cellular immune responses against SARS-CoV-2 variants in COVID-19 convalescent and confirmed patients, to explore the correlation between disease severity, humoral immunity, and cytokines/chemokines in confirmed patients, and to evaluate the ADE risk of SARS-CoV-2. Methods: Anti-RBD IgG were quantified using an ELISA. Neutralization potency was measured using pseudovirus and real virus. Cellular immunity was measured using ELISpot. Cytokine/chemokine levels were detected using multiplex immunoassays. In vitro ADE assays were performed using Raji cells. Results: One-month alpha convalescents exhibited spike-specific antibodies and T cells for alpha and delta variants. Notably, the RBD-specific IgG towards the delta variant decreased by 2.5-fold compared to the alpha variant. Besides, serum from individuals recently experienced COVID-19 showed suboptimal neutralizing activity against the delta and omicron variants. Humoral immune response, IL-6, IP-10 and MCP-1 levels were greater in patients with severe disease. Moreover, neither SARS-CoV-1 nor SARS-CoV-2 convalescent sera significantly enhanced SARS-CoV-2 pseudovirus infection. Conclusions: Significant resistance of the delta and omicron variants to the humoral immune response generated by individuals who recently experienced COVID-19. Furthermore, there was a significant correlation among disease severity, humoral immune response, and specific cytokines/chemokine levels. No evident ADE was observed for SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Cytokines , Immunity, Cellular , Immunity, Humoral , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19/immunology , Cytokines/immunology , Humans , Immunoglobulin G , Severity of Illness Index
5.
J Clin Invest ; 132(10)2022 05 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1846632

ABSTRACT

BackgroundThe Delta and Omicron variants of SARS-CoV-2 are currently responsible for breakthrough infections due to waning immunity. We report phase I/II trial results of UB-612, a multitope subunit vaccine containing S1-RBD-sFc protein and rationally designed promiscuous peptides representing sarbecovirus conserved helper T cell and cytotoxic T lymphocyte epitopes on the nucleocapsid (N), membrane (M), and spike (S2) proteins.MethodWe conducted a phase I primary 2-dose (28 days apart) trial of 10, 30, or 100 µg UB-612 in 60 healthy young adults 20 to 55 years old, and 50 of them were boosted with 100 µg of UB-612 approximately 7 to 9 months after the second dose. A separate placebo-controlled and randomized phase II study was conducted with 2 doses of 100 µg of UB-612 (n = 3,875, 18-85 years old). We evaluated interim safety and immunogenicity of phase I until 14 days after the third (booster) dose and of phase II until 28 days after the second dose.ResultsNo vaccine-related serious adverse events were recorded. The most common solicited adverse events were injection site pain and fatigue, mostly mild and transient. In both trials, UB-612 elicited respective neutralizing antibody titers similar to a panel of human convalescent sera. The most striking findings were long-lasting virus-neutralizing antibodies and broad T cell immunity against SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern (VoCs), including Delta and Omicron, and a strong booster-recalled memory immunity with high cross-reactive neutralizing titers against the Delta and Omicron VoCs.ConclusionUB-612 has presented a favorable safety profile, potent booster effect against VoCs, and long-lasting B and broad T cell immunity that warrants further development for both primary immunization and heterologous boosting of other COVID-19 vaccines.Trial RegistrationClinicalTrials.gov: NCT04545749, NCT04773067, and NCT04967742.FundingUBI Asia, Vaxxinity Inc., and Taiwan Centers for Disease Control, Ministry of Health and Welfare.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines , COVID-19 , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Antibodies, Viral , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/therapy , Humans , Immunization, Passive , Middle Aged , SARS-CoV-2 , T-Lymphocytes , Young Adult
6.
J Clin Med ; 11(5)2022 Mar 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1732086

ABSTRACT

During the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, we admitted suspected or confirmed COVID-19 patients to our isolation wards between 2 March 2020 and 4 May 2020, following a well-designed and efficient assessment protocol. We included 217 patients suspected of COVID-19, of which 27 had confirmed COVID-19. The clinical characteristics of these patients were used to train artificial intelligence (AI) models such as support vector machine (SVM), decision tree, random forest, and artificial neural network for diagnosing COVID-19. When analyzing the performance of the models, SVM showed the highest sensitivity (SVM vs. decision tree vs. random forest vs. artificial neural network: 100% vs. 42.86% vs. 28.57% vs. 71.43%), while decision tree and random forest had the highest specificity (SVM vs. decision tree vs. random forest vs. artificial neural network: 88.37% vs. 100% vs. 100% vs. 94.74%) in the diagnosis of COVID-19. With the aid of AI models, physicians may identify COVID-19 patients earlier, even with few baseline data available, and segregate infected patients earlier to avoid hospital cluster infections and to ensure the safety of medical professionals and ordinary patients in the hospital.

7.
Infect Drug Resist ; 15: 595-603, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1725146

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is the causative agent behind coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19). Single-plex reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR)-based assays are widely used for COVID-19 detection but exhibit decreased sensitivity and specificity in detecting the rapidly spreading SARS-CoV-2 variants; in contrast, multiplex RT-PCR reportedly yields better results. Here, we aimed at comparatively analyzing the clinical performance of the LabTurboTM AIO COVID-19 RNA testing kit, a multiplex quantitative RT-PCR kit, including a three-target (E, N1, and RNase P), single-reaction, triplex assay used for SARS-CoV-2 detection, with that of the WHO-recommended RT-PCR assay. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Residual, natural, nasopharyngeal swabs obtained from universal transport medium specimens at SARS-CoV-2 testing centers (n = 414) were collected from May to October 2021. For SARS-CoV-2 qRT-PCR, total viral nucleic acid was extracted. The limit of detection (LOD) and the comparative clinical performances of the LabTurboTM AIO COVID-19 RNA kit and the WHO-recommended RT-PCR assay were assessed. Statistical analysis of the correlation was performed and results with R2 values >0.9 were considered to be highly correlated. RESULTS: The LOD of the LabTurboTM AIO COVID-19 RNA kit was 9.4 copies/reaction for the target genes N1 and E. The results obtained from 102 SARS-CoV-2-positive and 312 SARS-CoV-2-negative samples showed 100% correlation with previous WHO-recommended RT-PCR assay results. CONCLUSION: Multiplex qRT-PCR is a critical tool for detecting unknown pathogens and employs multiple target genes. The LabTurboTM AIO COVID-19 RNA testing kit provides an effective and efficient assay for SARS-CoV-2 detection and is highly compatible with SARS-CoV-2 variants.

8.
Microbiol Spectr ; 10(1): e0251321, 2022 02 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1707792

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), has spread worldwide. Many variants of SARS-CoV-2 have been reported, some of which have increased transmissibility and/or reduced susceptibility to vaccines. There is an urgent need for variant phenotyping for epidemiological surveillance of circulating lineages. Whole-genome sequencing is the gold standard for identifying SARS-CoV-2 variants, which constitutes a major bottleneck in developing countries. Methodological simplification could increase epidemiological surveillance feasibility and efficiency. We designed a novel multiplex real-time reverse transcriptase PCR (RT-PCR) to detect SARS-CoV-2 variants with S gene mutations. This multiplex PCR typing method was established to detect 9 mutations with specific primers and probes (ΔHV 69/70, K417T, K417N, L452R, E484K, E484Q, N501Y, P681H, and P681R) against the receptor-binding domain of the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2 variants. In silico analyses showed high specificity of the assays. Variants of concern (VOC) typing results were found to be highly specific for our intended targets, with no cross-reactivity observed with other upper respiratory viruses. The PCR-based typing methods were further validated using whole-genome sequencing and a commercial kit that was applied to clinical samples of 250 COVID-19 patients from Taiwan. The screening of these samples allowed the identification of epidemic trends by time intervals, including B.1.617.2 in the third Taiwan wave outbreak. This PCR typing strategy allowed the detection of five major variants of concern and also provided an open-source PCR assay which could rapidly be deployed in laboratories around the world to enhance surveillance for the local emergence and spread of B.1.1.7, B.1.351, P.1, and B.1.617.2 variants and of four Omicron mutations on the spike protein (ΔHV 69/70, K417N, N501Y, P681H). IMPORTANCE COVID-19 has spread globally. SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern (VOCs) are leading the next waves of the COVID-19 pandemic. Previous studies have pointed out that these VOCs may have increased infectivity, have reduced vaccine susceptibility, change treatment regimens, and increase the difficulty of epidemic prevention policy. Understanding SARS-CoV-2 variants remains an issue of concern for all local government authorities and is critical for establishing and implementing effective public health measures. A novel SARS-CoV-2 variant identification method based on a multiplex real-time RT-PCR was developed in this study. Five SARS-CoV-2 variants (Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta, and Omicron) were identified simultaneously using this method. PCR typing can provide rapid testing results with lower cost and higher feasibility, which is well within the capacity for any diagnostic laboratory. Characterizing these variants and their mutations is important for tracking SAR-CoV-2 evolution and is conducive to public infection control and policy formulation strategies.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/virology , Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction/methods , SARS-CoV-2/classification , COVID-19/epidemiology , Epidemiological Monitoring , Humans , Mutation , Pandemics , Public Health , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Taiwan , Whole Genome Sequencing
9.
Front Immunol ; 12: 771011, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1639016

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), caused by Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), is an ongoing pandemic. Detection and vaccination are essential for disease control, but they are distinct and complex operations that require significant improvements. Here, we developed an integrated detection and vaccination system to greatly simplify these efforts. We constructed recombinant baculoviruses to separately display the nucleocapsid (N) and spike (S) proteins of SARS-CoV-2. Insect cells infected by the recombinant baculoviruses were used to generate a cell-based system to accurately detect patient serum. Notably, although well-recognized by our newly developed detection system in which S-displaying insect cells acted as antigen, anti-S antibodies from many patients were barely detectable by Western blot, evidencing that COVID-19 patients primarily produce conformation-dependent anti-S antibodies. Furthermore, the same baculovirus constructs can display N (N-Bac) or S (S-Bac) on the baculovirus envelope and serve as vector vaccines. Animal experiments show that S-Bac or N-Bac immunization in mice elicited a strong and specific antibody response, and S-Bac in particular stimulated effective neutralizing antibodies without the need for adjuvant. Our integrated system maintains antigen conformation and membrane structure to facilitate serum detection and antibody stimulation. Thus, compared with currently available technologies, our system represents a simplified and efficient platform for better SARS-CoV-2 detection and vaccination.


Subject(s)
Baculoviridae/immunology , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19/diagnosis , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Baculoviridae/genetics , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Cell Line , Cell Surface Display Techniques , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/genetics , Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay , Female , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Male , Mice , Mice, Inbred BALB C , Middle Aged , Phosphoproteins/genetics , Phosphoproteins/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spodoptera , Vaccination , Young Adult
10.
Aging (Albany NY) ; 13(23): 24931-24942, 2021 12 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1573020

ABSTRACT

Since the Coronavirus 19 (COVID-19) pandemic, several SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern (SARS-CoV-2 VOC) have been reported. The B.1.1.7 variant has been associated with increased mortality and transmission risk. Furthermore, cluster and possible co-infection cases could occur in the next influenza season or COVID-19 pandemic wave, warranting efficient diagnosis and treatment decision making. Here, we aimed to detect SARS-CoV-2 and other common respiratory viruses using multiplex RT-PCR developed on the LabTurbo AIO 48 open system. We performed a multicenter study to evaluate the performance and analytical sensitivity of the LabTurbo AIO 48 system for SARS-CoV-2, influenza A/B, and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) using 652 nasopharyngeal swab clinical samples from patients. The LabTurbo AIO 48 system demonstrated a sensitivity of 9.4 copies/per PCR for N2 of SARS-CoV-2; 24 copies/per PCR for M of influenza A and B; and 24 copies/per PCR for N of RSV. The assay presented consistent performance in the multicenter study. The multiplex RT-PCR applied on the LabTurbo AIO 48 open platform provided highly sensitive, robust, and accurate results and enabled high-throughput detection of B.1.1.7, influenza A/B, and RSV with short turnaround times. Therefore, this automated molecular diagnostic assay could enable streamlined testing if COVID-19 becomes a seasonal disease.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing/methods , COVID-19/diagnosis , Influenza, Human/diagnosis , Multiplex Polymerase Chain Reaction/methods , Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infections/diagnosis , Adult , Aged , COVID-19/virology , Female , Humans , Influenza A virus/genetics , Influenza A virus/isolation & purification , Influenza, Human/virology , Influenzavirus B/genetics , Influenzavirus B/isolation & purification , Male , Middle Aged , Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infections/virology , Respiratory Syncytial Viruses/genetics , Respiratory Syncytial Viruses/isolation & purification , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Sensitivity and Specificity , Young Adult
11.
Int J Infect Dis ; 115: 30-34, 2022 Feb.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1536603

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: With the emergence of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) B.1.1.7 lineage in the ongoing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, Taiwan confronted a COVID-19 flare up in May 2021. Large-scale, accurate, affordable and rapid diagnostic tests such as the lateral flow assay can help to prevent community transmission, but their performance characteristics in real-world conditions and relevant subpopulations remain unclear. METHODS: The COVID-19 Antigen Rapid Test Kit (Eternal Materials, New Taipei City, Taiwan) was used in a high-throughput community testing site; the paired reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) results served as a reference for sensitivity and specificity calculations. RESULTS: Of 2096 specimens tested using the rapid antigen test, 70 (3.33%) were positive and 2026 (96.7%) were negative. This clinical performance was compared with the RT-PCR results. The sensitivity and specificity of the rapid antigen test were 76.39% [95% confidence interval (CI) 64.91-85.60%] and 99.26% (95% CI 98.78-99.58%), respectively, with high sensitivity in subjects with cycle threshold values ≤24. Further, the rapid antigen test detected the SARS-CoV-2 B.1.1.7 lineage effectively. CONCLUSIONS: Considering the short turnaround times and lower costs, this simple SARS-CoV-2 antigen detection test for rapid screening combined with RT-PCR as a double confirmatory screening tool can facilitate the prevention of community transmission during COVID-19 emergencies.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Antigens, Viral , Humans , Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction , Sensitivity and Specificity , Taiwan/epidemiology
12.
Int J Infect Dis ; 114: 112-114, 2022 Jan.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1499944

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has caused a pandemic. Diagnostic testing for SARS-CoV-2 has continuously been challenged due to several variants with diverse spike (S) and nucleocapsid (N) protein mutations []. SARS-CoV-2 variant proliferation potentially affects N protein-targeted rapid antigen testing. In this study, rapid antigen and reverse transcription PCR (RT-PCR) tests were performed simultaneously in patients with suspected coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Direct whole genome sequencing was performed to determine the N protein variations, and the viral assemblies were uploaded to GISAID. The genomes were then compared with those of global virus strains from GISAID. These isolates belonged to the B.1.1.7 variant, exhibiting several amino acid substitutions, including D3L, R203K, G204R, and S235F N protein mutations. The T135I mutation was also identified in one variant case in which the rapid antigen test and RT-PCR test were discordantly negative and positive, respectively. These findings suggest that the variants undetected by the Panbio COVID-19 rapid antigen test may be due to the T135I mutation in the N protein, posing a potential diagnostic risk for commercially available antigen tests. Hence, we recommend concomitant paired rapid antigen tests and molecular diagnostic methods to detect SARS-CoV-2. False-negative results could be rapidly corrected using confirmatory RT-PCR results to prevent future COVID-19 outbreaks.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Humans , Mutation , Nucleocapsid/genetics , Sensitivity and Specificity
13.
PeerJ ; 9: e11991, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1459160

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: There is a global pandemic of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Information on viral genomics is crucial for understanding global dispersion and for providing insight into viral pathogenicity and transmission. Here, we characterized the SARS-CoV-2 genomes isolated from five travelers who returned to Taiwan from the United States of America (USA) between March and April 2020. METHODS: Haplotype network analysis was performed using genome-wide single-nucleotide variations to trace potential infection routes. To determine the genetic variations and evolutionary trajectory of the isolates, the genomes of isolates were compared to those of global virus strains from GISAID. Pharyngeal specimens were confirmed to be SARS-CoV-2-positive by RT-PCR. Direct whole-genome sequencing was performed, and viral assemblies were subsequently uploaded to GISAID. Comparative genome sequence and single-nucleotide variation analyses were performed. RESULTS: The D614G mutation was identified in imported cases, which separated into two clusters related to viruses originally detected in the USA. Our findings highlight the risk of spreading SARS-CoV-2 variants through air travel and the need for continued genomic tracing for the epidemiological investigation and surveillance of SARS-CoV-2 using viral genomic data. CONCLUSIONS: Continuous genomic surveillance is warranted to trace virus circulation and evolution in different global settings during future outbreaks.

14.
J Microbiol Immunol Infect ; 2021 Sep 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1386072

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND/PURPOSE: Mass screening for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is important to prevent the spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Pooling samples can increase the number of tests processed. LabTurbo AIO 48 is an automated platform that allows ribonucleic acid extraction and sample analysis on the same instrument. We created a novel pooling assay on this platform for SARS-CoV-2 detection and demonstrated that the pooling strategy increases testing capacity without affecting accuracy and sensitivity. METHODS: Comparative limit of detection (LoD) assessment was performed on the LabTurbo AIO 48 platform and the current standard detection system based on real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (rRT-PCR) using 55 clinically positive samples. An additional 330 primary clinical samples were assessed. RESULTS: Six samples pooled into one reaction tube were detected in approximately 2.5 h using the World Health Organization rRT-PCR protocol. LabTurbo AIO 48 also demonstrated a higher throughput than our reference rRT-PCR assay, with an LoD of 1000 copies/mL. The overall percentage agreement between the methods for the 330 samples was 100%. CONCLUSION: We created a novel multi-specimen pooling assay using LabTurbo AIO 48 for the robust detection of SARS-CoV-2, allowing high-throughput results; this assay will aid in better control and prevention of COVID-19. The diagnostic assay was cost-effective and time-efficient; thus, the pooling strategy is a practical and effective method for diagnosing large quantities of specimens without compromising precision.

15.
Infect Drug Resist ; 14: 3255-3261, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1372036

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: Accurate molecular diagnostic assays for detecting severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the causative agent of COVID-19, are needed for epidemiology studies and to support infection-control measures. We evaluated the analytical sensitivity and clinical performance of three sample-to-answer molecular-diagnostics systems for detecting SARS-CoV-2 using 325 nasopharyngeal swab clinical samples from symptomatic patients. METHODS: The BioFire Respiratory Panel 2.1 (RP2.1), cobas Liat SARS-CoV-2 and Influenza A/B, and Cepheid Xpert Xpress SARS-CoV-2/Flu/RSV platforms, which have been granted emergency-use authorization by the US FDA, were tested and compared. RESULTS: The positive percent agreement, negative percent agreement, and overall percent agreement among the three point of care testing systems were 98-100%, including for the wild-type SARS-CoV-2 (non-B.1.1.7) and a variant of concern (B.1.1.7). Notably, the BioFire RP2.1 may fail to detect the SARS-CoV-2 S gene in the B.1.1.7 lineage because of the spike protein mutation. CONCLUSION: All three point of care testing platforms provided highly sensitive, robust, and almost accurate results for rapidly detecting SARS-CoV-2. These automated molecular diagnostic assays can increase the effectiveness of control and prevention measures for infectious diseases.

16.
J Pers Med ; 11(5)2021 May 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1234765

ABSTRACT

The catastrophic coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic is currently a critical global issue. One well-known complication of COVID-19 in severe cases is acute kidney injury, but no research has given a description of its impact on the kidney in patients with mild symptoms. We explore the renal function changes in mild COVID-19 patients. This retrospective, single-center study included 27 participants with laboratory-detected severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus two (SARS-CoV-2) infection who were admitted to the Tri-Service General Hospital from 4 February to 26 May 2020 and analyzed their clinical features, radiological findings, and laboratory data. Data collected upon admission and discharge showed a median estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) of 106.7 mL/min/1.732 m2 and 112.2 mL/min/1.732 m2, respectively, with a p-value of 0.044. A correlation between renal function and the severity of infection was also found and was statistically significant upon admission. Patients with a lower lymphocyte count or higher C-reactive protein, neutrophil count, and neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio presented with a decreased eGFR during their early infection phase. The biomarkers (CRP and NLR) may be linked with dynamic changes of renal function in COVID-19 patients who are asymptomatic or have mild symptoms.

17.
Infect Drug Resist ; 14: 971-977, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1143341

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a global public health crisis. Taiwan experienced two waves of imported cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), first from China in January to late February, 2020 then from other countries starting in early March. As of Dec 14, 2020, 733 cases have been reported in Taiwan, with cases of entire families being infected. This study aimed to investigate the clinical characteristics and differentiation of genetic variation among isolates from a cluster of familial COVID-19 infection. The parents had pneumonia (Case 14, father, and Case 15, mother), the elder son (Case 17) had mild cough, and the younger son (Case 18) was asymptomatic. In this study, four full viral genomes were sequenced by Illumina sequencing directly from specimens. Phylogenetic tree analysis revealed that these sequences came from Italy, not China, indicating that no major strain has been circulating in Taiwan. Several novel mutations were observed in the asymptomatic patient, such as nsp2, nsp12, and nsp14. These mutations may be associated with the severity of COVID-19 infection.

18.
J Clin Med ; 10(6)2021 Mar 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1125714

ABSTRACT

The impact of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic on health-care quality in the emergency department (ED) in countries with a low risk is unclear. This study aimed to explore the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on ED loading, quality of care, and patient prognosis. Data were retrospectively collected from 1 January 2018 to 30 September 2020 at the ED of Tri-service general hospital. Analyses included day-based ED loading, quality of care, and patient prognosis. Data on triage assessment, physiological states, disease history, and results of laboratory tests were collected and analyzed. The number of daily visits significantly decreased after the pandemic, leading to a reduction in the time to examination. Admitted patients benefitted from the pandemic with a reduction of 0.80 h in the length of stay in the ED, faster discharge without death, and reduced re-admission. However, non-admitted visits with chest pain increased the risk of mortality after the pandemic. In conclusion, the COVID-19 pandemic led to a significant reduction in low-acuity ED visits and improved prognoses for hospitalized patients. However, clinicians should be alert about patients with chest pain due to their increased risk of mortality in subsequent admission.

19.
Emerg Microbes Infect ; 10(1): 161-166, 2021 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1012801

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 has spread rapidly, causing deaths worldwide. In this study, we evaluated the performance of the BD MAX Open System module for identifying viral pathogens, including SARS-CoV-2, in nasopharyngeal specimens from individuals with symptoms of upper respiratory tract infection. We developed and validated a rapid total nucleic acid extraction method based on real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) for the reliable, high-throughput simultaneous detection of common cold viral pathogens using the BD MAX Platform. The system was evaluated using 205 nasopharyngeal swab clinical samples. For assessment of the limit of detection (LoD), we used SARS-CoV-2, influenza A/B, and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) RNA standards. The BD MAX dual multiplex real-time RT-PCR panel demonstrated a sensitivity comparable to that of the World Health Organization-recommended SARS-CoV-2 assay with an LoD of 50 copies/PCR. The LoD of influenza A/B and RSV was 100-200 copies/PCR. The overall percent agreement between the BD MAX panel and laboratory-developed RT-PCR test on 55 SARS-CoV-2-positive clinical samples was 100%. Among the 55 positive cases of COVID-19 analysed, no coinfection was detected. The BD MAX rapid multiplex PCR provides a highly sensitive, robust, and accurate assay for the rapid detection of SARS-CoV-2, influenza A/B, and RSV.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/diagnosis , Influenza, Human/diagnosis , Polymerase Chain Reaction/methods , Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infections/diagnosis , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19 Testing , Coinfection/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Multiplex Polymerase Chain Reaction/methods , Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction/methods , Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction/methods , Young Adult
20.
Clin Chim Acta ; 514: 54-58, 2021 Mar.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-971428

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Immediate detection of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is critical for preventing the spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The LabTurbo AIO 48 system is an automated platform that allows nucleic acid extraction and sample analysis on the same instrument, producing faster results without affecting their accuracy. We aimed to independently evaluate the LabTurbo AIO 48 (all-in-one system) for SARS-CoV-2 detection. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Comparative limit of detection (LOD) was assessed on both the LabTurbo AIO 48 and current standard detection system based on real-time reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), using SARS-CoV-2 RNA control. Additional 125 primary clinical samples were assessed using both the protocols in parallel. RESULTS: The turnaround time from sample to results for 48 samples analyzed on LabTurbo AIO 48 was approximately 2.5 h, whereas that analyzed using the in-house RT-PCR protocol was 4.8 h. LabTurbo AIO 48 also demonstrated higher sensitivity than our reference RT-PCR assay, with a LOD of 9.4 copies/reaction. The overall percentage agreement between both the methods for 125 samples was 100%. CONCLUSION: LabTurbo AIO 48 is a robust detection option for SARS-CoV-2, allowing faster results and, consequently, aiding in better control and prevention of COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Testing/methods , High-Throughput Screening Assays/methods , Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction/methods , COVID-19/diagnosis , Humans , Limit of Detection , RNA, Viral/chemistry , Reference Standards , Sensitivity and Specificity , Viral Load
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