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2.
Sci Rep ; 12(1): 2883, 2022 02 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1707349

ABSTRACT

We report the development of a large scale process for heat inactivation of clinical COVID-19 samples prior to laboratory processing for detection of SARS-CoV-2 by RT-qPCR. With more than 266 million confirmed cases, over 5.26 million deaths already recorded at the time of writing, COVID-19 continues to spread in many parts of the world. Consequently, mass testing for SARS-CoV-2 will remain at the forefront of the COVID-19 response and prevention for the near future. Due to biosafety considerations the standard testing process requires a significant amount of manual handling of patient samples within calibrated microbiological safety cabinets. This makes the process expensive, effects operator ergonomics and restricts testing to higher containment level laboratories. We have successfully modified the process by using industrial catering ovens for bulk heat inactivation of oropharyngeal/nasopharyngeal swab samples within their secondary containment packaging before processing in the lab to enable all subsequent activities to be performed in the open laboratory. As part of a validation process, we tested greater than 1200 clinical COVID-19 samples and showed less than 1 Cq loss in RT-qPCR test sensitivity. We also demonstrate the bulk heat inactivation protocol inactivates a murine surrogate of human SARS-CoV-2. Using bulk heat inactivation, the assay is no longer reliant on containment level 2 facilities and practices, which reduces cost, improves operator safety and ergonomics and makes the process scalable. In addition, heating as the sole method of virus inactivation is ideally suited to streamlined and more rapid workflows such as 'direct to PCR' assays that do not involve RNA extraction or chemical neutralisation methods.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing/methods , COVID-19/diagnosis , Containment of Biohazards/methods , Hot Temperature , Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction/methods , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Specimen Handling/methods , Virus Inactivation , Animals , COVID-19/virology , Cell Line , Humans , Mice , Murine hepatitis virus/genetics , RNA, Viral/genetics , RNA, Viral/isolation & purification , Sensitivity and Specificity
3.
Sci Rep ; 12(1): 3114, 2022 02 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1707156

ABSTRACT

On 11th March 2020, the UK government announced plans for the scaling of COVID-19 testing, and on 27th March 2020 it was announced that a new alliance of private sector and academic collaborative laboratories were being created to generate the testing capacity required. The Cambridge COVID-19 Testing Centre (CCTC) was established during April 2020 through collaboration between AstraZeneca, GlaxoSmithKline, and the University of Cambridge, with Charles River Laboratories joining the collaboration at the end of July 2020. The CCTC lab operation focussed on the optimised use of automation, introduction of novel technologies and process modelling to enable a testing capacity of 22,000 tests per day. Here we describe the optimisation of the laboratory process through the continued exploitation of internal performance metrics, while introducing new technologies including the Heat Inactivation of clinical samples upon receipt into the laboratory and a Direct to PCR protocol that removed the requirement for the RNA extraction step. We anticipate that these methods will have value in driving continued efficiency and effectiveness within all large scale viral diagnostic testing laboratories.


Subject(s)
SARS-CoV-2
4.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-309684

ABSTRACT

On 11th March 2020, the UK government announced plans for the scaling of COVID-19 testing, and on 27th March 2020 it was announced that a new alliance of private sector and academic collaborative laboratories were being created to generate the testing capacity required. The Cambridge COVID-19 Testing Centre (CCTC) was established during April 2020 through collaboration between AstraZeneca, GlaxoSmithKline, and the University of Cambridge, with Charles River Laboratories joining the collaboration at the end of July 2020. The CCTC lab operation focussed on the optimised use of automation, introduction of novel technologies and process modelling to enable a testing capacity of 22,000 tests per day. Here we describe the optimisation of the laboratory process through the continued exploitation of internal performance metrics, while introducing new technologies including the Heat Inactivation of clinical samples upon receipt into the laboratory and a Direct to PCR protocol that removed the requirement for the RNA extraction step. We anticipate that these methods will have value in driving continued efficiency and effectiveness within all large scale viral diagnostic testing laboratories.

5.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-309319

ABSTRACT

We report the development of a large scale process for heat inactivation of clinical COVID-19 samples prior to laboratory processing for detection of SARS-CoV-2 by RT-qPCR. With more than 120 million confirmed cases, over 3.8 million deaths already recorded at the time of writing, COVID-19 continues to spread in many parts of the world. Consequently, mass testing for SARS-CoV-2 will remain at the forefront of the COVID-19 response and prevention for the near future. Due to biosafety considerations the standard testing process requires a significant amount of manual handling of patient samples within calibrated microbiological safety cabinets. This makes the process expensive, effects operator ergonomics and restricts testing to higher containment level laboratories. We have successfully modified the process by using industrial catering ovens for bulk heat inactivation of oropharyngeal/nasopharyngeal swab samples within their secondary containment packaging before processing in the lab to enable all subsequent activities to be performed in the open laboratory. As part of a validation process, we tested greater than 1200 clinical COVID-19 samples and showed less than 1 Cq loss in RT-qPCR test sensitivity. We also demonstrate the bulk heat inactivation protocol inactivates a murine surrogate of human SARS-CoV-2. Using bulk heat inactivation, the assay is no longer reliant on containment level 2 facilities and practices, which reduces cost, improves operator safety and ergonomics and makes the process scalable. In addition, heating as the sole method of virus inactivation is ideally suited to streamlined and more rapid workflows such as ‘direct to PCR’ assays that do not involve RNA extraction or chemical neutralisation methods.

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