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Medicines (Basel) ; 9(5)2022 Apr 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1875703


This study provides epidemiologic and clinical characteristics of 492 consecutive patients diagnosed with SARS-CoV-2 infection at King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Centre in Saudi Arabia between March and September 2020. Data were collected from electronic case reports. The cohort was 54% male, with 20.4% aged >60 years, 19.9% aged 31-40 years, and 17% aged 41-50 years. The median incubation period was 16 days, with upper and lower 95% quartiles of 27 and 10 days, respectively. Most patients (79.2%) were symptomatic. Variables significantly different between symptomatic and asymptomatic patients were age, blood oxygen saturation percentage, hemoglobin level, lymphocyte count, neutrophil to lymphocyte (NTL) ratio, and alanine aminotransferase (ALT) and aspartate aminotransferase (AST) level. Asymptomatic patients were mostly younger, with lower body mass index and ALT and AST levels but higher lymphocyte counts, NTL ratio, and CD4, CD8, natural killer cell, IgG, and IgM levels. Factors associated with increased risk of mortality were age (>42 years) and comorbidities, particularly diabetes mellitus and hypertension. Patients who were not given an antiviral regimen were associated with better prognosis than patients who received an antiviral regimen (HR, 0.07; 95% CI, 0.011-0.25). These findings will help clinicians and policymakers adopt best management and treatment options for SARS-CoV-2 infection.

J Infect Public Health ; 14(9): 1139-1143, 2021 Sep.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1338435


BACKGROUND: One major challenge for detecting the virus that causes COVID-19 is commercial SARS-CoV-2 testing kit or reagent availability. To allow every laboratory or hospital access to an in-house assay, we developed a low-cost SARS-CoV-2 detection assay protocol using in-house primers and reagents/equipment on hand in most biology or diagnostic laboratories: a SYBR Green-based RT-PCR. RNA extraction has also become a major bottleneck due to limited supplies and the required labor. Thus, we validated an alternative RNA extraction protocol. METHODS: We designed and synthesized in-house primers according to SARS-CoV-2 genome sequences retrieved from GISAID database. One hundred and ninety patient samples were collected by nasopharyngeal swab, coded, and used to develop and validate the assay protocol. RNA extraction was performed using TRI reagent-based RNA protocol to inactivate the virus; thus, testing was conducted in a conventional biosafety level 2 laboratory. RESULTS: The sensitivity and specificity of the primers were evaluated using 190 patient samples previously tested for SARS-CoV-2. The positive amplicons were sequenced to confirm the results. The assay protocol was developed, and the specificity of each RT-PCR product was confirmed using melting curve analyses. Of 190 samples, the SYBR Green-based RT-PCR assay detected SARS-CoV-2 target genes in 88 samples, with no false-positive results. These findings indicate that the sensitivity of our assay was 97.7% and specificity of 100% with those of the diagnostic laboratory that tested the same samples using a Rotor-Gene PCR cycler with an Altona Diagnostics SARS-CoV-2 kit (R2 = 0.89). CONCLUSIONS: These approaches are reliable, repeatable, specific, sensitive, simple, and low-cost tools for the detection of SARS-CoV-2 in a conventional biosafety level 2 laboratory, offering alternative approaches when commercial kits are unavailable or not affordable.

COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19 Testing , Humans , Laboratories , RNA, Viral/genetics , Sensitivity and Specificity
J Med Virol ; 93(5): 3219-3226, 2021 May.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1100914


The emergence of the novel coronavirus, the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in the late months of 2019 had the officials to declare a public health emergency leading to a global response. Public measurements rely on an accurate diagnosis of individuals infected with the virus by using real-time reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). The aim of our study is to relate the fundamental clinical and analytical performance of SARS-CoV-2 (RT-PCR) commercial kits. A total of 94 clinical samples were selected. Generally, 400 µl of each respiratory specimen was subjected to extraction using ExiPrep 96 Viral RNA Kit. All kits master mix preparation, cycling protocol, thermocycler, and results interpretation were carried out according to the manufacturer's instructions of use and recommendations. The performance of the kits was comparable except for the LYRA kit as it was less sensitive (F = 67, p < .001). Overall, four kits scored a sensitivity of 100% including: BGI, IQ Real, Sansure, and RADI. For specificity, all the tested kits scored above 95%. The performance of these commercial kits by gene target showed no significant change in CT values which indicates that kits disparities are mainly linked to the oligonucleotide of the gene target. We believe that most of the commercially available RT-PCR kits included in this study can be used for routine diagnosis of patients with SARS-CoV-2. We recommend including kits with multiple targets in order to monitor the virus changes over time.

COVID-19/diagnosis , Reagent Kits, Diagnostic , Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction/methods , Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction/methods , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19/virology , Humans , Reagent Kits, Diagnostic/standards , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Sensitivity and Specificity