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Microbiol Spectr ; : e0387322, 2022 Oct 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2088451


Optimizing specimen collection methods to achieve the most reliable SARS-CoV-2 detection for a given diagnostic sensitivity would improve testing and minimize COVID-19 outbreaks. From September 2020 to April 2021, we performed a household-transmission study in which participants self-collected specimens every morning and evening throughout acute SARS-CoV-2 infection. Seventy mildly symptomatic participants collected saliva, and of those, 29 also collected nasal swab specimens. Viral load was quantified in 1,194 saliva and 661 nasal swab specimens using a high-analytical-sensitivity reverse transcription-quantitative PCR (RT-qPCR) assay. Viral loads in both saliva and nasal swab specimens were significantly higher in morning-collected specimens than in evening-collected specimens after symptom onset. This aspect of the biology of SARS-CoV-2 infection has implications for diagnostic testing. We infer that morning collection would have resulted in significantly improved detection and that this advantage would be most pronounced for tests with low to moderate analytical sensitivity. Collecting specimens for COVID-19 testing in the morning offers a simple and low-cost improvement to clinical diagnostic sensitivity of low- to moderate-analytical-sensitivity tests. IMPORTANCE Our findings suggest that collecting saliva and nasal swab specimens in the morning immediately after waking yields higher SARS-CoV-2 viral loads than collection later in the day. The higher viral loads from morning specimen collection are predicted to significantly improve detection of SARS-CoV-2 in symptomatic individuals, particularly when using moderate- to low-analytical-sensitivity COVID-19 diagnostic tests, such as rapid antigen tests.

J Clin Microbiol ; 60(2): e0178521, 2022 02 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1691434


Early detection of SARS-CoV-2 infection is critical to reduce asymptomatic and presymptomatic transmission, curb the spread of variants, and maximize treatment efficacy. Low-analytical-sensitivity nasal-swab testing is commonly used for surveillance and symptomatic testing, but the ability of these tests to detect the earliest stages of infection has not been established. In this study, conducted between September 2020 and June 2021 in the greater Los Angeles County, California, area, initially SARS-CoV-2-negative household contacts of individuals diagnosed with COVID-19 prospectively self-collected paired anterior-nares nasal-swab and saliva samples twice daily for viral-load quantification by high-sensitivity reverse-transcription quantitative PCR (RT-qPCR) and digital-RT-PCR assays. We captured viral-load profiles from the incidence of infection for seven individuals and compared diagnostic sensitivities between respiratory sites. Among unvaccinated persons, testing saliva with a high-analytical-sensitivity assay detected infection up to 4.5 days before viral loads in nasal swabs reached concentrations detectable by low-analytical-sensitivity nasal-swab tests. For most participants, nasal swabs reached higher peak viral loads than saliva but were undetectable or at lower loads during the first few days of infection. High-analytical-sensitivity saliva testing was most reliable for earliest detection. Our study illustrates the value of acquiring early (within hours after a negative high-sensitivity test) viral-load profiles to guide the appropriate analytical sensitivity and respiratory site for detecting earliest infections. Such data are challenging to acquire but critical to designing optimal testing strategies with emerging variants in the current pandemic and to respond to future viral pandemics.

COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Humans , Nasopharynx , Pandemics , Saliva , Specimen Handling
Neonatology ; 117(6): 736-741, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-949225


BACKGROUND: Bubble CPAP may be used in infants with suspected or confirmed COVID-19. Electrostatic filters may reduce cross infection. This study aims to determine if including a filter in the bubble CPAP circuit impacts stability of pressure delivery. METHODS: A new electrostatic filter was placed before (pre) or after (post) the bubble CPAP generator, or with no filter (control) in an in vitro study. Pressure was recorded at the nasal interface for 18 h (6 L/min; 7 cm H2O) on 3 occasions for each configuration. Filter failure was defined as pressure >9 cm H2O for 60 continuous minutes. The filter was weighed before and after each experiment. RESULTS: Mean (SD) time to reach the fail point was 257 (116) min and 525 (566) min for filter placement pre- and post-CPAP generator, respectively. Mean pressure was higher throughout in the pre-generator position compared to control. The filter weight was heavier at end study in the pre- compared to the post-generator position. CONCLUSIONS: Placement of the filter at the pre-generator position in a bubble CPAP circuit should be avoided due to unstable mean pressure. Filters are likely to become saturated with water over time. The post-generator position may accommodate a filter, but regular pressure monitoring and early replacement are required.

COVID-19/prevention & control , Continuous Positive Airway Pressure/instrumentation , Filtration/methods , Respiratory Distress Syndrome, Newborn/therapy , Ventilators, Mechanical , Equipment Design , Humans , In Vitro Techniques , Infant , Infant, Newborn , Pressure , Respiration , Tidal Volume