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1.
PLoS One ; 17(1): e0261853, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1622346

ABSTRACT

Reverse transcription-quantitative polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR) is used worldwide to test and trace the spread of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). "Extraction-less" or "direct" real time-reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) is a transparent and accessible qualitative method for SARS-CoV-2 detection from nasopharyngeal or oral pharyngeal samples with the potential to generate actionable data more quickly, at a lower cost, and with fewer experimental resources than full RT-qPCR. This study engaged 10 global testing sites, including laboratories currently experiencing testing limitations due to reagent or equipment shortages, in an international interlaboratory ring trial. Participating laboratories were provided a common protocol, common reagents, aliquots of identical pooled clinical samples, and purified nucleic acids and used their existing in-house equipment. We observed 100% concordance across laboratories in the correct identification of all positive and negative samples, with highly similar cycle threshold values. The test also performed well when applied to locally collected patient nasopharyngeal samples, provided the viral transport media did not contain charcoal or guanidine, both of which appeared to potently inhibit the RT-PCR reaction. Our results suggest that direct RT-PCR assay methods can be clearly translated across sites utilizing readily available equipment and expertise and are thus a feasible option for more efficient COVID-19 coronavirus disease testing as demanded by the continuing pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Testing/methods , COVID-19/diagnosis , RNA, Viral/genetics , Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction/methods , Reverse Transcription/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , COVID-19/virology , Feasibility Studies , Humans , Nasopharynx/virology , Pandemics/prevention & control , Sensitivity and Specificity , Serologic Tests/methods , Specimen Handling/methods
2.
J Appl Lab Med ; 6(6): 1441-1451, 2021 11 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1493844

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: This study outlines the development, implementation, and impact of a laboratory-developed, extraction-free real-time PCR assay as the primary diagnostic test for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in a pediatric hospital. METHODS: Clinical specimens from both upper and lower respiratory tract sources were validated, including nasopharyngeal aspirates, nasopharyngeal swabs, anterior nares swabs, and tracheal aspirates (n = 333 clinical samples). Testing volumes and laboratory turnaround times were then compared before and after implementation to investigate effects of the workflow changes. RESULTS: Compared to magnetic-bead extraction platforms, extraction-free real-time PCR demonstrated ≥95% positive agreement and ≥97% negative agreement across all tested sources. Implementation of this workflow reduced laboratory turnaround time from an average of 8.8 (+/-5.5) h to 3.6 (+/-1.3) h despite increasing testing volumes (from 1515 to 4884 tests per week over the reported period of testing). CONCLUSIONS: The extraction-free workflow reduced extraction reagent cost for SARS-CoV-2 testing by 97%, shortened sample handling time, and significantly alleviated supply chain scarcities due to the elimination of specialized extraction reagents for routine testing. Overall, this assay is a viable option for laboratories to increase efficiency and navigate reagent shortages for SARS-CoV-2 diagnostic testing.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Testing , COVID-19 , Child , Hospitals, Pediatric , Humans , Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction , SARS-CoV-2 , Sensitivity and Specificity , Workflow
3.
ACS Infect Dis ; 7(9): 2596-2603, 2021 09 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1328835

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 infection is diagnosed through detection of specific viral nucleic acid or antigens from respiratory samples. These techniques are relatively expensive, slow, and susceptible to false-negative results. A rapid noninvasive method to detect infection would be highly advantageous. Compelling evidence from canine biosensors and studies of adults with COVID-19 suggests that infection reproducibly alters human volatile organic compound (VOC) profiles. To determine whether pediatric infection is associated with VOC changes, we enrolled SARS-CoV-2 infected and uninfected children admitted to a major pediatric academic medical center. Breath samples were collected from children and analyzed through state-of-the-art GCxGC-ToFMS. Isolated features included 84 targeted VOCs. Candidate biomarkers that were correlated with infection status were subsequently validated in a second, independent cohort of children. We thus find that six volatile organic compounds are significantly and reproducibly increased in the breath of SARS-CoV-2 infected children. Three aldehydes (octanal, nonanal, and heptanal) drew special attention, as aldehydes are also elevated in the breath of adults with COVID-19. Together, these biomarkers demonstrate high accuracy for distinguishing pediatric SARS-CoV-2 infection and support the ongoing development of novel breath-based diagnostics.

4.
Open Forum Infect Dis ; 8(7): ofab300, 2021 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1307554

ABSTRACT

We report the genome of a B.1.1.7+E484K severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 from Southeastern Pennsylvania and compare it with all high-coverage B.1.1.7+E484K genomes (n = 235) available. Analyses showed the existence of at least 4 distinct clades of this variant circulating in the United States and the possibility of at least 59 independent acquisitions of the E484K mutation.

5.
Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol ; : 1-3, 2021 May 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1284661

ABSTRACT

Early in the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, the CDC recommended collection of a lower respiratory tract (LRT) specimen for severe acute respiratory coronavirus virus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) testing in addition to the routinely recommended upper respiratory tract (URT) testing in mechanically ventilated patients. Significant operational challenges were noted at our institution using this approach. In this report, we describe our experience with routine collection of paired URT and LRT sample testing. Our results revealed a high concordance between the 2 sources, and that all children tested for SARS-CoV-2 were appropriately diagnosed with URT testing alone. There was no added benefit to LRT testing. Based on these findings, our institutional approach was therefore adjusted to sample the URT alone for most patients, with LRT sampling reserved for patients with ongoing clinical suspicion for SARS-CoV-2 after a negative URT test.

6.
J Pediatric Infect Dis Soc ; 10(5): 669-673, 2021 May 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1262143

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome-coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) antibody responses in children remain poorly characterized. Here, we show that pediatric patients with multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C) possess higher SARS-CoV-2 spike immunoglobulin G (IgG) titers compared with those with severe coronavirus disease 2019, likely reflecting a longer time since the onset of infection in MIS-C patients.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Antibody Formation , COVID-19/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome/immunology , COVID-19 Serological Testing , Child , Female , Humans , Immunoglobulin A/immunology , Immunoglobulin G/immunology , Immunoglobulin M/immunology , Male , SARS-CoV-2 , Severity of Illness Index
7.
Acad Pathol ; 8: 23742895211006822, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1183493

ABSTRACT

The Coronavirus 2019 pandemic has strained nearly every aspect of pathology practice, including preanalytic, analytic, and postanalytic processes. Much of the challenges result from high demand for limited severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 testing capacity, a resource required to facilitate patient flow throughout the hospital system and society at large. At our institution, this led to unprecedented increases in inquiries from providers to laboratory staff relating to the expected time to result for their patients. The demand was great enough to require redeployment of staff to handle the laboratory call volume. Although these data are available in our laboratory information system, the data do not interface to our electronic health record system. We developed systems using the R statistical programming language that abstract the necessary data regarding severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 polymerase chain reaction testing from our lab system in real time, store it, and present it to clinicians for on demand querying. These data have been accessed over 2500 times by over 100 distinct users. Median length of each user session is approximately 4.9 minutes. Because our lab information system does not persistently store tracking information while our system does, we have been able to iteratively recalculate time to result values for each tracking stop as workflows have changed over time. Facility with informatics and programming concepts coupled with clinical understanding have allowed us to swiftly develop and iterate on applications which provide efficiency gains, allowing laboratory resources to focus on generating test results for our patients.

9.
J Clin Microbiol ; 59(5)2021 04 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1083610

ABSTRACT

Community-based health care clinics and hospital outreach services have the potential to expand coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) diagnostics to rural areas. However, reduced specimen stability during extended transport, the absence of a cold chain to centralized laboratories, and biosafety concerns surrounding specimen handling have limited this expansion. In the following study, we evaluated eNAT (Copan Italia, Brescia, Italy) as an alternative transport system to address the biosafety and stability challenges associated with expanding COVID-19 diagnostics to rural and remote regions. In this study, we demonstrated that high-titer severe acute respiratory virus syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) lysate placed into eNAT medium cannot be propagated in cell culture, supporting viral inactivation. To account for off-site testing in these settings, we assessed the stability of contrived nasopharyngeal (NP) specimens stored for up to 14 days in various transport media (eNAT, eSwab, viral transport medium [VTM], saline, and phosphate-buffered saline [PBS]) at 4°C, 22 to 25°C, and 35°C. The molecular detection of SARS-CoV-2 was unaffected by sample storage temperature over the 2 weeks when stored in eNAT or PBS (change in cycle threshold, ≤1). In contrast, variable stability was observed across test conditions for other transport media. As eNAT can inactivate SARS-CoV-2, it may support COVID-19 diagnostics at the point of care. Evaluation of compatibility of eNAT with Cepheid Xpert Xpress SARS-CoV-2 assay demonstrated diagnostic accuracy and sensitivity equivalent to those of VTM. Taken together, these findings suggest that the implementation of eNAT as a collection device can expand COVID-19 testing to areas with limited health care access.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Testing , COVID-19/diagnosis , Culture Media , Specimen Handling/standards , Humans , Sensitivity and Specificity , Temperature
10.
J Pediatric Infect Dis Soc ; 9(5): 523-529, 2020 Nov 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-919289

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Understanding the prevalence and clinical presentation of coronavirus disease 2019 in pediatric patients can help healthcare providers and systems prepare and respond to this emerging pandemic. METHODS: This was a retrospective case series of patients tested for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) across a pediatric healthcare network, including clinical features and outcomes of those with positive test results. RESULTS: Of 7256 unique children tested for SARS-CoV-2, 424 (5.8%) tested positive. Patients aged 18-21 years had the highest test positive rate (11.2%), while those aged 1-5 years had the lowest (3.9%). By race, 10.6% (226/2132) of black children tested positive vs 3.3% (117/3592) of white children. By indication for testing, 21.1% (371/1756) of patients with reported exposures or clinical symptoms tested positive vs 3.8% (53/1410) of those undergoing preprocedural or preadmission testing. Of 424 patients who tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, 182 (42.9%) had no comorbidities, 87 (20.5%) had asthma, and 55 (13.0%) were obese. Overall, 52.1% had cough, 51.2% fever, and 14.6% shortness of breath. Seventy-seven (18.2%) SARS-CoV-2-positive patients were hospitalized, of whom 24 (31.2%) required respiratory support. SARS-CoV-2-targeted antiviral therapy was given to 9 patients, and immunomodulatory therapy to 18 patients. Twelve (2.8%) SARS-CoV-2-positive patients required mechanical ventilation, and 2 patients required extracorporeal membrane oxygenation. Two patients died. CONCLUSIONS: In this large cohort of pediatric patients tested for SARS-CoV-2, the rate of infection was low but varied by testing indication. The majority of cases were mild and few children had critical illness.


Subject(s)
Clinical Laboratory Techniques , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Adolescent , Asymptomatic Diseases , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , COVID-19 Testing , Child , Child, Preschool , Coronavirus Infections/complications , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Coronavirus Infections/mortality , Female , Hospitalization , Humans , Infant , Male , New Jersey/epidemiology , Pandemics , Pennsylvania/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/complications , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Pneumonia, Viral/mortality , Polymerase Chain Reaction , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2
11.
medRxiv ; 2020 Aug 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-900749

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 antibody responses in children remain poorly characterized. Here, we show that pediatric patients with multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C) possess higher SARS-CoV-2 spike IgG titers compared to those with severe coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), likely reflecting a longer time since onset of infection in MIS-C patients.

12.
J Clin Invest ; 130(11): 5967-5975, 2020 11 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-690425

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUNDInitial reports from the severe acute respiratory coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic described children as being less susceptible to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) than adults. Subsequently, a severe and novel pediatric disorder termed multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C) emerged. We report on unique hematologic and immunologic parameters that distinguish between COVID-19 and MIS-C and provide insight into pathophysiology.METHODSWe prospectively enrolled hospitalized patients with evidence of SARS-CoV-2 infection and classified them as having MIS-C or COVID-19. Patients with COVID-19 were classified as having either minimal or severe disease. Cytokine profiles, viral cycle thresholds (Cts), blood smears, and soluble C5b-9 values were analyzed with clinical data.RESULTSTwenty patients were enrolled (9 severe COVID-19, 5 minimal COVID-19, and 6 MIS-C). Five cytokines (IFN-γ, IL-10, IL-6, IL-8, and TNF-α) contributed to the analysis. TNF-α and IL-10 discriminated between patients with MIS-C and severe COVID-19. The presence of burr cells on blood smears, as well as Cts, differentiated between patients with severe COVID-19 and those with MIS-C.CONCLUSIONPediatric patients with SARS-CoV-2 are at risk for critical illness with severe COVID-19 and MIS-C. Cytokine profiling and examination of peripheral blood smears may distinguish between patients with MIS-C and those with severe COVID-19.FUNDINGFinancial support for this project was provided by CHOP Frontiers Program Immune Dysregulation Team; National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases; National Cancer Institute; the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society; Cookies for Kids Cancer; Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation for Childhood Cancer; Children's Oncology Group; Stand UP 2 Cancer; Team Connor; the Kate Amato Foundations; Burroughs Wellcome Fund CAMS; the Clinical Immunology Society; the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology; and the Institute for Translational Medicine and Therapeutics.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/metabolism , Complement Membrane Attack Complex/metabolism , Coronavirus Infections , Cytokines/blood , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral , Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome , Adolescent , COVID-19 , Child , Child, Preschool , Coronavirus Infections/blood , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Male , Pneumonia, Viral/blood , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Prospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Severity of Illness Index , Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome/blood , Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome/epidemiology
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