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1.
Infection ; 2022 May 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1943482

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: Omicron is rapidly spreading as a new SARS-CoV-2 variant of concern (VOC). The question whether this new variant has an impact on SARS-CoV-2 rapid antigen test (RAT) performance is of utmost importance. To obtain an initial estimate regarding differences of RATs in detecting omicron and delta, seven commonly used SARS-CoV-2 RATs from different manufacturers were analysed using cell culture supernatants and clinical specimens. METHODS: For this purpose, cell culture-expanded omicron and delta preparations were serially diluted in Dulbecco's modified Eagle's Medium (DMEM) and the Limit of Detection (LoD) for both VOCs was determined. Additionally, clinical specimens stored in viral transport media or saline (n = 51) were investigated to complement in vitro results with cell culture supernatants. Ct values and RNA concentrations were determined via quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR). RESULTS: The in vitro determination of the LoD showed no obvious differences in detection of omicron and delta for the RATs examined. The LoD in this study was at a dilution level of 1:1,000 (corresponding to 3.0-5.6 × 106 RNA copies/mL) for tests I-V and at a dilution level of 1:100 (corresponding to 3.7-4.9 × 107 RNA copies/mL) for tests VI and VII. Based on clinical specimens, no obvious differences were observed between RAT positivity rates when comparing omicron to delta in this study setting. Overall positivity rates varied between manufacturers with 30-81% for omicron and 42-71% for delta. Test VII was only conducted in vitro with cell culture supernatants for feasibility reasons. In the range of Ct < 23, positivity rates were 50-100% for omicron and 67-93% for delta. CONCLUSION: In this study, RATs from various manufacturers were investigated, which displayed no obvious differences in terms of analytical LoD in vitro and RAT positivity rates based on clinical samples comparing the VOCs omicron and delta. However, differences between tests produced by various manufacturers were detected. In terms of clinical samples, a focus of this study was on specimens with high virus concentrations. Further systematic, clinical and laboratory studies utilizing large datasets are urgently needed to confirm reliable performance in terms of sensitivity and specificity for all individual RATs and SARS-CoV-2 variants.

2.
Infection ; 50(3): 761-766, 2022 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1712370

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Five SARS-CoV-2 variants are currently considered as variants of concern (VOC). Omicron was declared a VOC at the end of November 2021. Based on different diagnostic methods, the occurrence of Omicron was reported by 52 countries worldwide on December 7 2021. First notified by South Africa with alarming reports on increasing infection rates, this new variant was soon suspected to replace the currently pre-dominating Delta variant leading to further infection waves worldwide. METHODS: Using VOC PCR screening and Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) analysis of selected samples, we investigated the circulation of Omicron in the German federal state Bavaria. For this, we analyzed SARS-CoV-2 surveillance data from our laboratory generated from calendar week (CW) 01 to 49/2021. RESULTS: So far, we have detected 69 Omicron cases in our laboratory from CW 47-49/2021 using RT-qPCR followed by melting curve analysis. The first 16 cases were analyzed by NGS and all were confirmed as Omicron. CONCLUSION: Our data strongly support no circulation of the new Omicron variant before CW 47/2021.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/epidemiology , High-Throughput Nucleotide Sequencing , Humans , Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction , SARS-CoV-2/genetics
4.
Epidemiol Infect ; 149: e226, 2021 10 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1537267

ABSTRACT

The corona virus disease-2019 (COVID-19) pandemic began in Wuhan, China, and quickly spread around the world. The pandemic overlapped with two consecutive influenza seasons (2019/2020 and 2020/2021). This provided the opportunity to study community circulation of influenza viruses and severe acute respiratory syndrome-coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) in outpatients with acute respiratory infections during these two seasons within the Bavarian Influenza Sentinel (BIS) in Bavaria, Germany. From September to March, oropharyngeal swabs collected at BIS were analysed for influenza viruses and SARS-CoV-2 by real-time polymerase chain reaction. In BIS 2019/2020, 1376 swabs were tested for influenza viruses. The average positive rate was 37.6%, with a maximum of over 60% (in January). The predominant influenza viruses were Influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 (n = 202), Influenza A(H3N2) (n = 144) and Influenza B Victoria lineage (n = 129). In all, 610 of these BIS swabs contained sufficient material to retrospectively test for SARS-CoV-2. SARS-CoV-2 RNA was not detectable in any of these swabs. In BIS 2020/2021, 470 swabs were tested for influenza viruses and 457 for SARS-CoV-2. Only three swabs (0.6%) were positive for Influenza, while SARS-CoV-2 was found in 30 swabs (6.6%). We showed that no circulation of SARS-CoV-2 was detectable in BIS during the 2019/2020 influenza season, while virtually no influenza viruses were found in BIS 2020/2021 during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Influenza, Human/epidemiology , Sentinel Surveillance , COVID-19/diagnosis , Germany/epidemiology , Humans , Incidence , Influenza, Human/diagnosis , Oropharynx/virology , Orthomyxoviridae/classification , Orthomyxoviridae/genetics , Orthomyxoviridae/isolation & purification , RNA, Viral/genetics , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Seasons
5.
Microorganisms ; 9(9)2021 Sep 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1410330

ABSTRACT

Rapid antigen tests (RATs) are an integral part of SARS-CoV-2 containment strategies. As emerging variants of concern (VOCs) displace the initially circulating strains, it is crucial that RATs do not fail to detect these new variants. In this study, four RATs for nasal swab testing were investigated using cultured strains of B.1.1 (non-VOC), B.1.1.7 (Alpha), B.1.351 (Beta), P.1 (Gamma), and B.1.617.2 (Delta). Based on dilution series in cell culture medium and pooled saliva, the limit of detection of these RATs was determined in a laboratory setting. Further investigations on cross-reactivity were conducted using recombinant N-protein from seasonal human coronaviruses (hCoVs). RATs evaluated showed an overall comparable performance with cultured strains of the non-VOC B.1.1 and the VOCs Alpha, Beta, Gamma, and Delta. No cross-reactivity was detected with recombinant N-protein of the hCoV strains HKU1, OC43, NL63, and 229E. A continuous evaluation of SARS-CoV-2 RAT performance is required, especially with regard to evolving mutations. Moreover, cross-reactivity and interference with pathogens and other substances on the test performance of RATs should be consistently investigated to ensure suitability in the context of SARS-CoV-2 containment.

6.
Emerg Infect Dis ; 27(7): 1974-1976, 2021 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1278359

ABSTRACT

We report a therapy cat in a nursing home in Germany infected with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 during a cluster outbreak in the home residents. Although we confirmed prolonged presence of virus RNA in the asymptomatic cat, genome sequencing showed no further role of the cat in human infections on site.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Animals , Cats , Disease Outbreaks , Germany , Humans , RNA, Viral/genetics , Retirement
7.
Euro Surveill ; 26(16)2021 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1200054

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern (VOC) should not escape molecular surveillance. We investigated if SARS-CoV-2 rapid antigen tests (RATs) could detect B.1.1.7 and B.1.351 VOCs in certain laboratory conditions. Infectious cell culture supernatants containing B.1.1.7, B.1.351 or non-VOC SARS-CoV-2 were respectively diluted both in DMEM and saliva. Dilutions were analysed with Roche, Siemens, Abbott, nal von minden and RapiGEN RATs. While further studies with appropriate real-life clinical samples are warranted, all RATs detected B.1.1.7 and B.1.351, generally comparable to non-VOC strain.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19 Serological Testing , Germany , Humans
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