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J Med Virol ; 93(10): 5917-5923, 2021 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1272212


Since the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak, laboratory diagnosis has mainly been conducted using reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). Detecting the presence of an infectious virus in the collected sample is essential to analyze if a person can transmit infectious severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). However, there have been no quantitative investigations conducted for infectious SARS-CoV-2 in clinical samples. Therefore, in the present study, a rapid and simple focus-forming assay using the peroxidase-antiperoxidase technique was developed to quantify infectious SARS-CoV-2 titers in 119 samples (n = 52, nasopharyngeal swabs [NPS]; n = 67, saliva) from patients with COVID-19. Furthermore, the study findings were compared with the cycle threshold (Ct) values of real-time RT-PCR. The infectious virus titers in NPS samples and Ct values were inversely correlated, and no infectious virus could be detected when the Ct value exceeded 30. In contrast, a low correlation was observed between the infectious virus titers in saliva and Ct values (r = -0.261, p = 0.027). Furthermore, the infectious virus titers in the saliva were significantly lower than those in the NPS samples. Ten days after the onset of COVID-19 symptoms, the infectious virus was undetectable, and Ct values were more than 30 in NSP and saliva samples. The results indicate that patients whose symptoms subsided 10 days after onset, with Ct values more than 30 in NSP and saliva samples, were less likely to infect others.

COVID-19 Testing , COVID-19/diagnosis , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Viral Plaque Assay , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/virology , Child , Child, Preschool , Female , Humans , Infant , Male , Middle Aged , Nasopharynx/virology , Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction , Saliva/virology , Viral Load , Young Adult
mSphere ; 5(6)2020 11 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-920897


After the first case of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in Japan on 15 January 2020, multiple nationwide COVID-19 clusters were identified by the end of February. The Japanese government focused on mitigating the emerging COVID-19 clusters by conducting active nationwide epidemiological surveillance. However, an increasing number of cases continued to appear until early April 2020, many with unclear infection routes and no recent history of travel outside Japan. We aimed to evaluate the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) genome sequences from the COVID-19 cases that appeared until early April 2020 and to characterize their genealogical networks in order to demonstrate possible routes of spread in Japan. Nasopharyngeal specimens were collected from patients, and reverse transcription-quantitative PCR tests for SARS-CoV-2 were performed. Positive RNA samples were subjected to whole-genome sequencing, and a haplotype network analysis was performed. Some of the primary clusters identified during January and February 2020 in Japan descended directly from the Wuhan-Hu-1-related isolates from China and other distinct clusters. Clusters were almost contained until mid-March; the haplotype network analysis demonstrated that the COVID-19 cases from late March through early April may have created an additional large cluster related to the outbreak in Europe, leading to additional spread within Japan. In conclusion, genome surveillance has suggested that there were at least two distinct SARS-CoV-2 introductions into Japan from China and other countries.IMPORTANCE This study aimed to evaluate the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) genome sequences from COVID-19 cases and to characterize their genealogical networks to demonstrate possible routes of spread in Japan. We found that there were at least two distinct SARS-CoV-2 introductions into Japan, initially from China and subsequently from other countries, including Europe. Our findings can help understand how SARS-CoV-2 entered Japan and contribute to increased knowledge of SARS-CoV-2 in Asia and its association with implemented stay-at-home/shelter-in-place/self-restraint/lockdown measures. This study suggested that it is necessary to formulate a more efficient containment strategy using real-time genome surveillance to support epidemiological field investigations in order to highlight potential infection linkages and mitigate the next wave of COVID-19 in Japan.

Betacoronavirus/genetics , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , RNA, Viral/analysis , Whole Genome Sequencing , Betacoronavirus/isolation & purification , COVID-19 , COVID-19 Testing , Clinical Laboratory Techniques , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Coronavirus Infections/transmission , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Emigration and Immigration , Haplotypes , Health Policy , Humans , Japan/epidemiology , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Pneumonia, Viral/transmission , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , SARS-CoV-2