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Dent Mater ; 38(6): e155-e159, 2022 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1873002


OBJECTIVE: Fast and reliable detection of infection is a key to control the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. Lateral flow antigen tests (LFATs) are inexpensive, easy to use, but have to be verified, as they are rather unspecific and can produce both, false positive and false negative results. Our objective was to combine the speed of LFAT for SARS-CoV-2 with the reliability of qPCR tests. METHODS: A serial dilution of a patient sample positive for SARS-CoV-2 was prepared and added to LFAT wells from two manufacturers. After evaluation, the devices were opened, the strips removed and extracted in a solution. Amplification was performed using point of care PCR systems (cobas® Liat®, ID NOW™) or on a LightCycler after extraction by MagNAPure 96. RESULTS: The nucleic acid amplification systems yielded higher sensitivity to LFAT. Thus, all samples determined positive by LFAT from the serial dilution were also positive in the subsequent amplification reactions. Sensitivity using extracted eluates was 10-100 times higher. SIGNIFICANCE: The usage of LFAT is highly recommended for single samples in emergency dental or emergency clinical settings, for smaller cohorts, or even for larger population screening, as it is inexpensive and fast. Positive results can be conveniently verified directly from the test devices using either point of care test equipment or more complex laboratory equipment thus making a major impact on efficient management of infections and isolations.

COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19/diagnosis , Humans , Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction , Reproducibility of Results , Sensitivity and Specificity
Med Microbiol Immunol ; 211(2-3): 105-117, 2022 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1702741


Since autumn 2020, rapid antigen tests (RATs) have been implemented in several countries as an important pillar of the national testing strategy to rapidly screen for infections on site during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. The current surge in infection rates around the globe is driven by the variant of concern (VoC) omicron (B.1.1.529). Here, we evaluated the performance of nine SARS-CoV-2 RATs in a single-centre laboratory study. We examined a total of 115 SARS-CoV-2 PCR-negative and 166 SARS-CoV-2 PCR-positive respiratory swab samples (101 omicron, 65 delta (B.1.617.2)) collected from October 2021 until January 2022 as well as cell culture-expanded clinical isolates of both VoCs. In an assessment of the analytical sensitivity in clinical specimen, the 50% limit of detection (LoD50) ranged from 1.77 × 106 to 7.03 × 107 RNA copies subjected to the RAT for omicron compared to 1.32 × 105 to 2.05 × 106 for delta. To score positive in these point-of-care tests, up to 10-fold (LoD50) or 101-fold (LoD95) higher virus loads were required for omicron- compared to delta-containing samples. The rates of true positive test results for omicron samples in the highest virus load category (Ct values < 25) ranged between 31.4 and 77.8%, while they dropped to 0-8.3% for samples with intermediate Ct values (25-30). Of note, testing of expanded virus stocks suggested a comparable RAT sensitivity of both VoCs, questioning the predictive value of this type of in vitro-studies for clinical performance. Given their importance for national test strategies in the current omicron wave, awareness must be increased for the reduced detection rate of omicron infections by RATs and a short list of suitable RATs that fulfill the minimal requirements of performance should be rapidly disclosed.

COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19/diagnosis , Humans , Pandemics
Dent Mater ; 37(3): e95-e97, 2021 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1068888


OBJECTIVE: The aim is to recommend a fast and cost-effective screening procedure for UK/SA SARS-CoV-2 variants in a routing diagnostic setting. METHODS: A rapid procedure using qPCR is described to provide clinicians with information about the two currently most prevalent variants (B1.1.7 and B1.351) that harbour receptor binding domain mutation N501Y. The N501Y specific assay only delivers an amplification signal if the Y501 variant is present. RESULTS: 436 samples initially screened positive for SARS-CoV-2 were randomly selected. Only one of these samples showed a fluorescence signal increase indicative for the Y501 variant. The remaining 435 samples had a melting peak at 54 °C indicating the N501 wildtype. SIGNIFICANCE: The screening of a broad population base can still be performed with the established test system. In case of a positive test for SARS-CoV-2 and corresponding clinical and anamnestic indications, a second qPCR for the mutation N501Y can follow and deliver the result to public health authorities and to the treating physician within a few hours.

COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19 Testing , Cost-Benefit Analysis , Humans