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1.
Open Forum Infect Dis ; 8(11): ofab509, 2021 Nov.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1526187

ABSTRACT

Background: Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) RNA loads in patient specimens may act as a clinical outcome predictor in critically ill patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Methods: We evaluated the predictive value of viral RNA loads and courses in the blood compared with the upper and lower respiratory tract loads of critically ill COVID-19 patients. Daily specimen collection and viral RNA quantification by reverse transcription quantitative polymerase chain reaction were performed in all consecutive 170 COVID-19 patients between March 2020 and February 2021 during the entire intensive care unit (ICU) stay (4145 samples analyzed). Patients were grouped according to their 90-day outcome as survivors (n=100) or nonsurvivors (n=70). Results: In nonsurvivors, blood SARS-CoV-2 RNA loads were significantly higher at the time of admission to the ICU (P=.0009). Failure of blood RNA clearance was observed in 33/50 (66%) of the nonsurvivors compared with 12/64 (19%) survivors (P<.0001). As determined by multivariate analysis, taking sociodemographic and clinical parameters into account, blood SARS-CoV-2 RNA load represents a valid and independent predictor of outcome in critically ill COVID-19 patients (odds ratio [OR; log10], 0.23; 95% CI, 0.12-0.42; P<.0001), with a significantly higher effect for survival compared with respiratory tract SARS-CoV-2 RNA loads (OR [log10], 0.75; 95% CI, 0.66-0.85; P<.0001). Blood RNA loads exceeding 2.51×103 SARS-CoV-2 RNA copies/mL were found to indicate a 50% probability of death. Consistently, 29/33 (88%) nonsurvivors with failure of virus clearance exceeded this cutoff value constantly. Conclusions: Blood SARS-CoV-2 load is an important independent outcome predictor and should be further evaluated for treatment allocation and patient monitoring.

2.
Nat Neurosci ; 24(11): 1522-1533, 2021 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1500484

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) can damage cerebral small vessels and cause neurological symptoms. Here we describe structural changes in cerebral small vessels of patients with COVID-19 and elucidate potential mechanisms underlying the vascular pathology. In brains of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2)-infected individuals and animal models, we found an increased number of empty basement membrane tubes, so-called string vessels representing remnants of lost capillaries. We obtained evidence that brain endothelial cells are infected and that the main protease of SARS-CoV-2 (Mpro) cleaves NEMO, the essential modulator of nuclear factor-κB. By ablating NEMO, Mpro induces the death of human brain endothelial cells and the occurrence of string vessels in mice. Deletion of receptor-interacting protein kinase (RIPK) 3, a mediator of regulated cell death, blocks the vessel rarefaction and disruption of the blood-brain barrier due to NEMO ablation. Importantly, a pharmacological inhibitor of RIPK signaling prevented the Mpro-induced microvascular pathology. Our data suggest RIPK as a potential therapeutic target to treat the neuropathology of COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Blood-Brain Barrier/metabolism , Brain/metabolism , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/metabolism , Intracellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins/metabolism , Microvessels/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Animals , Blood-Brain Barrier/pathology , Brain/pathology , Chlorocebus aethiops , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/genetics , Cricetinae , Female , Humans , Intracellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins/genetics , Male , Mesocricetus , Mice , Mice, Inbred C57BL , Mice, Knockout , Mice, Transgenic , Microvessels/pathology , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Vero Cells
3.
Emerg Infect Dis ; 28(1)2021 Nov 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1496968

ABSTRACT

We investigated the infectivity of 128 severe acute respiratory disease coronavirus 2-associated deaths and evaluated predictive values of standard diagnostic procedures. Maintained infectivity (20%) did not correlate with viral RNA loads but correlated well with anti-S antibody levels. Sensitivity >90% for antigen-detecting rapid diagnostic tests supports their usefulness for assessment.

4.
Nat Neurosci ; 24(11): 1522-1533, 2021 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1483143

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) can damage cerebral small vessels and cause neurological symptoms. Here we describe structural changes in cerebral small vessels of patients with COVID-19 and elucidate potential mechanisms underlying the vascular pathology. In brains of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2)-infected individuals and animal models, we found an increased number of empty basement membrane tubes, so-called string vessels representing remnants of lost capillaries. We obtained evidence that brain endothelial cells are infected and that the main protease of SARS-CoV-2 (Mpro) cleaves NEMO, the essential modulator of nuclear factor-κB. By ablating NEMO, Mpro induces the death of human brain endothelial cells and the occurrence of string vessels in mice. Deletion of receptor-interacting protein kinase (RIPK) 3, a mediator of regulated cell death, blocks the vessel rarefaction and disruption of the blood-brain barrier due to NEMO ablation. Importantly, a pharmacological inhibitor of RIPK signaling prevented the Mpro-induced microvascular pathology. Our data suggest RIPK as a potential therapeutic target to treat the neuropathology of COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Blood-Brain Barrier/metabolism , Brain/metabolism , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/metabolism , Intracellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins/metabolism , Microvessels/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Animals , Blood-Brain Barrier/pathology , Brain/pathology , Chlorocebus aethiops , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/genetics , Cricetinae , Female , Humans , Intracellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins/genetics , Male , Mesocricetus , Mice , Mice, Inbred C57BL , Mice, Knockout , Mice, Transgenic , Microvessels/pathology , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Vero Cells
5.
Diagnostics (Basel) ; 11(10)2021 Oct 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1444133

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The recent emergence of distinct and highly successful SARS-CoV-2 lineages has substantial implications for individual patients and public health measures. While next-generation-sequencing is routinely performed for surveillance purposes, RT-qPCR can be used to rapidly rule-in or rule-out relevant variants, e.g., in outbreak scenarios. The objective of this study was to create an adaptable and comprehensive toolset for multiplexed Spike-gene SNP detection, which was applied to screen for SARS-CoV-2 B.1.617 lineage variants. METHODS: We created a broad set of single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP)-assays including del-Y144/145, E484K, E484Q, P681H, P681R, L452R, and V1176F based on a highly specific multi-LNA (locked nucleic acid)-probe design to maximize mismatch discrimination. As proof-of-concept, a multiplex-test was compiled and validated (SCOV2-617VOC-UCT) including SNP-detection for L452R, P681R, E484K, and E484Q to provide rapid screening capabilities for the novel B.1.617 lineages. RESULTS: For the multiplex-test (SCOV2-617VOC-UCT), the analytic lower limit of detection was determined as 182 IU/mL for L452R, 144 IU/mL for P681R, and 79 IU/mL for E484Q. A total of 233 clinical samples were tested with the assay, including various on-target and off-target sequences. All SNPs (179/179 positive) were correctly identified as determined by SARS-CoV-2 whole genome sequencing. CONCLUSION: The recurrence of SNP locations and flexibility of methodology presented in this study allows for rapid adaptation to current and future variants. Furthermore, the ability to multiplex various SNP-assays into screening panels improves speed and efficiency for variant testing. We show 100% concordance with whole genome sequencing for a B.1.617.2 screening assay on the cobas6800 high-throughput system.

6.
J Infect ; 83(5): 589-593, 2021 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1401632

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: The large number of asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infections necessitates general screening of employees. We evaluate the performance of a SARS-CoV-2 screening program in asymptomatic healthcare-workers (HCW), utilizing self-sampled gargling-solution and sample pooling for RT-qPCR. METHODS: We conducted a cross-sectional retrospective study to collect real-life data on the performance of a screening-workflow based on automated-pooling and high-throughput qPCR testing over a 3-month-period at the University Hospital Hamburg. RESULTS: Matrix validation reveals that lower limit of detection for SARS-CoV-2 RNA in gargling-solution was 180 copies/mL (5-sample-pool). A total of 55,122 self-collected gargle samples (= 7513 HCWs) was analyzed. The median time to result was 8.5 hours (IQR 7.2-10.8). Of 11,192 pools analyzed, 11,041 (98.7%) were negative, 69 (0.6%) were positive and 82 (0.7%) were invalid. Individual testing of pool participants revealed 57 SARS-CoV-2 previously unrecognized infections. All 57 HCWs were either pre-symptomatic or asymptomatic (prevalence 0.76%,CI95%0.58-0.98%). Accuracy based on HCWs with gargle-solution and NP-swab available within 3-day-interval (N = 521) was 99.5% (CI95%98.3-99.9%), sensitivity 88.9% (CI95%65.3-98.6%) while specificity 99.8% (CI95%98.9-99.9). CONCLUSION: This workflow was highly effective in identifying SARS-CoV-2 positive HCWs, thereby lowering the potential of inter-HCW and HCW-patient transmissions. Automated-sample-pooling helped to conserve qPCR reagents and represents a promising alternative strategy to antigen testing in mass-screening programs.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Cross-Sectional Studies , Delivery of Health Care , Humans , RNA, Viral , Retrospective Studies , Workflow
9.
Children (Basel) ; 8(7)2021 Jun 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1288816

ABSTRACT

Critical Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) developed in a 7-year-old girl with a history of dystrophy, microcephaly, and central hypothyroidism. Starting with gastrointestinal symptoms, the patient developed severe myocarditis followed by progressive multiple organ failure complicated by Pseudomonas aeruginosa bloodstream infection. Intensive care treatment consisting of invasive ventilation, drainage of pleural effusion, and high catecholamine therapy could not prevent the progression of heart failure, leading to the implantation of venoarterial extracorporeal life support (VA-ECLS) and additional left ventricle support catheter (Impella® pump). Continuous venovenous hemofiltration (CVVH) and extracorporeal hemadsorption therapy (CytoSorb®) were initiated. Whole exome sequencing revealed a mutation of unknown significance in DExH-BOX helicase 30 (DHX30), a gene encoding a RNA helicase. COVID-19 specific antiviral and immunomodulatory treatment did not lead to viral clearance or control of hyperinflammation resulting in the patient's death on extracorporeal life support-(ECLS)-day 20. This fatal case illustrates the potential severity of pediatric COVID-19 and suggests further evaluation of antiviral treatment strategies and vaccination programs for children.

10.
J Clin Virol ; 141: 104894, 2021 Aug.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1267739

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: New SARS-CoV-2 variants with increased transmissibility, like B.1.1.7, first detected in England or B.1.351, first detected in South Africa, have caused considerable concern worldwide. In order to contain the spread of these lineages, it is of utmost importance to have rapid, sensitive and high-throughput detection methods at hand. METHODS: A set of RT-qPCR assays was modified for a diagnostic SARS-CoV-2 multiplex assay including detection of the del-HV69/70 and N501Y mutations on the cobas6800 platform. Analytical sensitivity was assessed for both wild-type SARS-CoV-2 and B.1.1.7 lineage by serial dilution. For clinical performance, a total of 176 clinical samples were subjected to the test and results compared to a commercial manual typing-PCR assay and next generation sequencing as gold standard. RESULTS: The multiplex assay was highly sensitive for detection of SARS-CoV-2 RNA in clinical samples, with an LoD of 6.16 cp/ml (CI: 4.00-8.31). LoDs were slightly higher for detection of the HV69/70 deletion (85.92, CI: 61-194.41) and the N501Y SNP (105.99 cp/ml, CI: 81.59 - 183.66). A total of 176 clinical samples were tested with the assay, including 50 samples containing SARS-CoV-2 of the B.1.1.7 lineage, one containing B.1.351 and 85 non-B.1.1.7/B.1.351 lineage, of which three also harbored a HV69/70 deletion. All were correctly identified by the multiplex assay. CONCLUSION: We describe here a highly sensitive, fully automated multiplex PCR assay for the simultaneous detection of the del-HV69/70 and N501Y mutations that can distinguish between B.1.1.7 and other lineages. The assay allows for high-throughput screening for currently relevant variants in clinical samples prior to sequencing.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , High-Throughput Screening Assays , Humans , RNA, Viral , Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction
11.
Forensic Sci Med Pathol ; 17(3): 411-418, 2021 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1252221

ABSTRACT

The body of a deceased with Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection is considered infectious. In this study, we present the results of infectivity testing of the body and testing of mortuary staff for SARS-CoV-2. We performed real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR) for SARS-CoV-2 on 33 decedents with ante mortem confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection. Swabs of the body surface from five different body regions and from the body bag or coffin were examined. A subset of the swabs was brought into cell culture. In addition, screening of 25 Institute of Legal Medicine (ILM) personnel for ongoing or past SARS-CoV-2 infection was performed at two different time points during the pandemic. Swabs from all locations of the body surface and the body environment were negative in cases of negative post mortem nasopharyngeal testing (n=9). When the post mortem nasopharyngeal swab tested positive (n=24), between 0 and 5 of the body surface swabs were also positive, primarily the perioral region. In six of the cases, the body bag also yielded a positive result. The longest postmortem interval with positive SARS-CoV-2 RT-qPCR at the body surface was nine days. In no case viable SARS-CoV-2 was found on the skin of the bodies or the body bags. One employee (autopsy technician) had possible occupational infection with SARS-CoV-2; all other employees were tested negative for SARS-CoV-2 RNA or antibody twice. Our data indicate that with adequate management of general safety precautions, transmission of SARS-CoV-2 through autopsies and handling of bodies is unlikely.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Humans , Nasopharynx , Pandemics , RNA, Viral
13.
Viruses ; 13(4)2021 04 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1178437

ABSTRACT

So far, only a few reports about reinfections with SARS-CoV-2 have been published, and they often lack detailed immunological and virological data. We report about a SARS-CoV-2 reinfection with a genetically distinct SARS-CoV-2 variant in an immunocompetent female healthcare worker that has led to a mild disease course. No obvious viral escape mutations were observed in the second virus variant. The infectious virus was shed from the patient during the second infection episode despite the presence of neutralizing antibodies in her blood. Our data indicate that a moderate immune response after the first infection, but not a viral escape, did allow for reinfection and live virus shedding.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Health Personnel , Reinfection/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Adult , Female , Humans , Immunity , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Virus Shedding , Whole Genome Sequencing
14.
Br J Ophthalmol ; 2021 Apr 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1175143

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: Presence of SARS-CoV-2 RNA in human retinal biopsies (RBs) was previously reported by us. In this consecutive study, we analysed RB and optic nerve biopsies (ONBs) in deceased patients with confirmed COVID-19 assessing viral RNA load, possible virus replication and infectivity. PATIENTS AND METHODS: In this case series, 14 eyes of 14 deceased patients with COVID-19 were enucleated during autopsy. RB and ONB were subjected to molecular detection of viral RNA, virus cultivation and immunohistochemistry. SARS-CoV-2 RNA loads were compared with RNA loads in the respective throat swabs, vitreous humour and blood samples. RESULTS: SARS-CoV-2 RNA was detected in 7/14 RBs and in 10/13 ONBs. While virus isolation failed and immunohistochemistry of SARS-CoV-2 spike protein was negative, subgenomic RNA (sgRNA) was detectable (40% RB; 60% ONB). CONCLUSION: SARS-CoV-2 RNA is detectable in RB and ONB of patients with COVID-19. Presence of sgRNA could point to a SARS-CoV-2 infection of neuronal tissue, but as virus isolation failed and immunohistochemistry of SARS-CoV-2 spike protein was negative, an active infection seems unlikely.

15.
J Clin Virol ; 137: 104782, 2021 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1116968

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: SARS-CoV-2 molecular diagnostics is facing material shortages and long turnaround times due to exponential increase of testing demand. OBJECTIVE: We evaluated the analytic performance and handling of four rapid Antigen Point of Care Tests (AgPOCTs) I-IV (Distributors: (I) Roche, (II) Abbott, (III) MEDsan and (IV) Siemens). METHODS: 100 RT-PCR negative and 84 RT-PCR positive oropharyngeal swabs were prospectively collected and used to determine performance and accuracy of these AgPOCTs. Handling was evaluated by 10 healthcare workers/users through a questionnaire. RESULTS: The median duration from symptom onset to sampling was 6 days (IQR 2-12 days). The overall respective sensitivity were 49.4 % (CI95 %: 38.9-59.9), 44.6 % (CI95 %: 34.3-55.3), 45.8 % (CI95 %: 35.5-56.5) and 54.9 % (CI95 %: 43.4-65.9) for tests I, II, III and IV, respectively. In the high viral load subgroup (containing >106 copies of SARS-CoV-2 /swab, n = 26), AgPOCTs reached sensitivities of 92.3 % or more (range 92.3 %-100 %). Specificity was 100 % for tests I, II (CI95 %: 96.3-100 for both tests) and IV (CI95 %: 96.3-100) and 97 % (CI95 %: 91.5-98.9) for test III. Regarding handling, test I obtained the overall highest scores, while test II was considered to have the most convenient components. Of note, users considered all assays, with the exception of test I, to pose a significant risk for contamination by drips or spills. DISCUSSION: Besides some differences in sensitivity and handling, all four AgPOCTs showed acceptable performance in high viral load samples. However, due to the significantly lower sensitivity compared to RT-qPCR, a careful consideration of pro and cons of AgPOCT has to be taken into account before clinical implementation.


Subject(s)
Antigens, Viral/analysis , COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing/methods , COVID-19 Testing/methods , COVID-19/diagnosis , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , Humans , Nasopharynx/virology , Oropharynx/virology , Point-of-Care Testing , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Sensitivity and Specificity , Serologic Tests/methods , Specimen Handling/methods , Viral Load
16.
Sci Immunol ; 6(56)2021 02 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1099742

ABSTRACT

Hyperinflammation contributes to lung injury and subsequent acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) with high mortality in patients with severe coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). To understand the underlying mechanisms involved in lung pathology, we investigated the role of the lung-specific immune response. We profiled immune cells in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid and blood collected from COVID-19 patients with severe disease and bacterial pneumonia patients not associated with viral infection. By tracking T cell clones across tissues, we identified clonally expanded tissue-resident memory-like Th17 cells (Trm17 cells) in the lungs even after viral clearance. These Trm17 cells were characterized by a a potentially pathogenic cytokine expression profile of IL17A and CSF2 (GM-CSF). Interactome analysis suggests that Trm17 cells can interact with lung macrophages and cytotoxic CD8+ T cells, which have been associated with disease severity and lung damage. High IL-17A and GM-CSF protein levels in the serum of COVID-19 patients were associated with a more severe clinical course. Collectively, our study suggests that pulmonary Trm17 cells are one potential orchestrator of the hyperinflammation in severe COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , Granulocyte-Macrophage Colony-Stimulating Factor/metabolism , Immunologic Memory , Lung/immunology , Th17 Cells/metabolism , Bronchoalveolar Lavage Fluid/cytology , Bronchoalveolar Lavage Fluid/immunology , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/pathology , Clone Cells , Humans , Inflammation/etiology , Inflammation/immunology , Lung/pathology , Myeloid Cells , Pneumonia, Bacterial/immunology , Th17 Cells/immunology
18.
JAMA Ophthalmol ; 139(4): 383-388, 2021 04 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1039144

ABSTRACT

Importance: Current recommendations are to avoid tissue for corneal transplant from donors with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) or those who were recently exposed to COVID-19 owing to the lack of knowledge about the presence of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in corneal tissues. Evidence of SARS-CoV-2 in corneal tissue would seem to have clinical relevance for corneal transplant. Objectives: To investigate the presence of viral SARS-CoV-2 RNA in corneal discs of deceased patients with confirmed COVID-19 and assess viral genomic and subgenomic RNA load, possible infectivity, and histologic abnormalities. Design, Setting, and Participants: A case series was conducted of 11 deceased patients with COVID-19 who underwent autopsy between March 20 and May 14, 2020. Eleven corneal discs (1 corneal disc per patient) were harvested for molecular detection of viral genomic and subgenomic RNA, virus isolation, and immunohistochemistry. The SARS-CoV-2 RNA loads were compared with RNA loads in the conjunctival and throat swab samples and aqueous humor, vitreous humor, and blood samples. Main Outcomes and Measures: Evidence of SARS-CoV-2 RNA in human corneas. Results: This study comprised 11 patients (6 women [55%]; mean [SD] age, 68.5 [18.8] years). In 6 of 11 eyes (55%), SARS-CoV-2 genomic RNA was detected in the cornea; subgenomic RNA was present in 4 of these 6 eyes (67%). Infectivity or the presence of viral structural proteins could not be confirmed in any eye. However, patients whose corneal disc was positive for SARS-CoV-2 RNA also had positive results for SARS-CoV-2 RNA in 4 of 6 conjunctival swab samples, 1 of 3 aqueous humor samples, 3 of 5 vitreous humor samples, and 4 of 5 blood samples. Overall, conjunctival swab samples had positive results for SARS-CoV-2 RNA in 5 of 11 cases. Postmortem SARS-CoV-2 viremia was detected in 5 of 9 patients. Conclusions and Relevance: Viral genomic and subgenomic RNA of SARS-CoV-2 was detected in the cornea of patients with COVID-19 viremia. The risk of COVID-19 infection via corneal transplant is low even in donors with SARS-CoV-2 viremia, but further research is necessary to assess the rate of SARS-CoV-2 transmission via corneal transplant.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/virology , Cornea/virology , RNA, Viral/analysis , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Viremia/virology , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Animals , Chlorocebus aethiops , Corneal Transplantation , Female , Humans , Immunohistochemistry , Male , Middle Aged , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Vero Cells , Viral Load
19.
J Med Microbiol ; 70(2)2021 Feb.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1010700

ABSTRACT

Introduction. Laboratories worldwide are facing high demand for molecular testing during the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic, which might be further aggravated by the upcoming influenza season in the northern hemisphere.Gap Statement. Given that the symptoms of influenza are largely indistinguishable from those of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), both SARS-CoV-2 and the influenza viruses require concurrent testing by RT-PCR in patients presenting with symptoms of respiratory tract infection.Aim. We adapted and evaluated a laboratory-developed multiplex RT-PCR assay for simultaneous detection of SARS-CoV-2 (dual target), influenza A and influenza B (SC2/InflA/InflB-UCT) on a fully automated high-throughput system (cobas6800).Methodology. Analytical performance was assessed by serial dilution of quantified reference material and cell culture stocks in transport medium, including pretreatment for chemical inactivation. For clinical evaluation, residual portions of 164 predetermined patient samples containing SARS-CoV-2 (n=52), influenza A (n=43) or influenza B (n=19), as well as a set of negative samples, were subjected to the novel multiplex assay.Results. The assay demonstrated comparable analytical performance to currently available commercial tests, with limits of detection of 94.9 cp ml-1 for SARS-CoV-2, 14.6 cp ml-1 for influenza A and 422.3 cp ml-1 for influenza B. Clinical evaluation showed excellent agreement with the comparator assays (sensitivity of 98.1, 97.7 and 100 % for Sars-CoV-2 and influenza A and B, respectively).Conclusion. The SC2/InflA/InflB-UCT allows for efficient high-throughput testing for all three pathogens and thus provides streamlined diagnostics while conserving resources during the influenza season.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Testing/methods , COVID-19/diagnosis , Influenza A virus/genetics , Influenza B virus/genetics , Influenza, Human/diagnosis , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , High-Throughput Screening Assays/methods , Humans , Influenza A virus/isolation & purification , Influenza B virus/isolation & purification , Influenza, Human/virology , Limit of Detection , Molecular Diagnostic Techniques/methods , Multiplex Polymerase Chain Reaction , Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Sensitivity and Specificity
20.
Clin Microbiol Infect ; 27(1): 130.e5-130.e8, 2021 Jan.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-996792

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: Investigation whether in depth characterization of virus variant patterns can be used for epidemiological analysis of the first severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection clusters in Hamburg, Germany. METHODS: Metagenomic RNA-sequencing and amplicon-sequencing and subsequent variant calling in 25 respiratory samples from SARS-CoV-2 infected patients involved in the earliest infection clusters in Hamburg. RESULTS: Amplikon sequencing and cluster analyses of these SARS-CoV-2 sequences allowed the identification of the first infection cluster and five non-related infection clusters occurring at the beginning of the viral entry of SARS-CoV-2 in the Hamburg metropolitan region. Viral genomics together with epidemiological analyses revealed that the index patient acquired the infection in northern Italy and transmitted it to two out of 134 contacts. Single nucleotide polymorphisms clearly distinguished the virus variants of the index and other clusters and allowed us to track in which sequences worldwide these mutations were first described. Minor variant analyses identified the transmission of intra-host variants in the index cluster and household clusters. CONCLUSIONS: SARS-CoV-2 variant tracing allows the identification of infection clusters and the follow up of infection chains occurring in the population. Furthermore, the follow up of minor viral variants in infection clusters can provide further resolution on transmission events indistinguishable at a consensus sequence level.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/genetics , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/transmission , Genome, Viral , Pandemics/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Adult , COVID-19/virology , COVID-19 Vaccines/biosynthesis , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Contact Tracing/statistics & numerical data , Evolution, Molecular , Female , Germany/epidemiology , High-Throughput Nucleotide Sequencing , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , Male , Multigene Family , Phylogeny , Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide , SARS-CoV-2/classification , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Travel
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