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1.
Front Microbiol ; 12: 713713, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1555080

ABSTRACT

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic unfolded due to the widespread severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) transmission reinforced the urgent need for affordable molecular diagnostic alternative methods for massive testing screening. We present the clinical validation of a pH-dependent colorimetric reverse transcription loop-mediated isothermal amplification (RT-LAMP) for SARS-CoV-2 detection. The method revealed a limit of detection of 19.3 ± 2.7 viral genomic copies/µL when using RNA extracted samples obtained from nasopharyngeal swabs collected in guanidine-containing viral transport medium. Typical RT-LAMP reactions were performed at 65°C for 30 min. When compared to reverse transcriptase-quantitative polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR), up to cycle-threshold (Ct) value 32, RT-LAMP presented 98% [95% confidence interval (CI) = 95.3-99.5%] sensitivity and 100% (95% CI = 94.5-100%) specificity for SARS-CoV-2 RNA detection targeting E and N genes. No cross-reactivity was detected when testing other non-SARS-CoV virus, confirming high specificity. The test is compatible with primary RNA extraction-free samples. We also demonstrated that colorimetric RT-LAMP can detect SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern and variants of interest, such as variants occurring in Brazil named gamma (P.1), zeta (P.2), delta (B.1.617.2), B.1.1.374, and B.1.1.371. The method meets point-of-care requirements and can be deployed in the field for high-throughput COVID-19 testing campaigns, especially in countries where COVID-19 testing efforts are far from ideal to tackle the pandemics. Although RT-qPCR is considered the gold standard for SARS-CoV-2 RNA detection, it requires expensive equipment, infrastructure, and highly trained personnel. In contrast, RT-LAMP emerges as an affordable, inexpensive, and simple alternative for SARS-CoV-2 molecular detection that can be applied to massive COVID-19 testing campaigns and save lives.

2.
Braz J Microbiol ; 52(2): 531-539, 2021 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1159186

ABSTRACT

Accurate testing to detect SARS-CoV-2 RNA is key to counteract the virus spread. Nonetheless, the number of diagnostic laboratories able to perform qPCR tests is limited, particularly in developing countries. We describe the use of a virus-inactivating, denaturing solution (DS) to decrease virus infectivity in clinical specimens without affecting RNA integrity. Swab samples were collected from infected patients and from laboratory personnel using a commercially available viral transport solution and the in-house DS. Samples were tested by RT-qPCR, and exposure to infective viruses was also accessed by ELISA. The DS used did not interfere with viral genome detection and was able to maintain RNA integrity for up to 16 days at room temperature. Furthermore, virus loaded onto DS were inactivated, as attested by attempts to grow SARS-CoV-2 in cell monolayers after DS desalt filtration to remove toxic residues. The DS described here provides a strategy to maintain diagnostic accuracy and protects diagnostic laboratory personnel from accidental infection, as it has helped to protect our lab crew.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Testing/methods , COVID-19/diagnosis , RNA Stability/drug effects , RNA, Viral/analysis , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Specimen Handling/methods , Diagnostic Tests, Routine , Genome, Viral/genetics , Humans , Protein Denaturation/drug effects , RNA, Viral/genetics , Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects
3.
Viruses ; 13(4)2021 03 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1154533

ABSTRACT

Reverse transcription quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR) to detect SARS-CoV-2 RNA is an essential test to monitor the occurrence of COVID-19. A methodology is proposed for the determination of maximum pool size and adjustments of cut-off values of cycle threshold (Ct in RT-qPCR pool testing, to compensate for the dilution caused by pooling. The trade-off between pool size and test sensitivity is stated explicitly. The procedure was designed to ensure that samples that would be detectable in individual testing remain detectable in pool testing. The proposed relaxation in cut-off is dependent on the pool size, allowing a relatively tight correction to avoid loss of detection of positive samples. The methodology was evaluated in a study of pool testing of adults attending a public emergency care unit, reference for COVID-19 in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, and presenting flu-like symptoms. Even samples on the edge of detectability in individual testing were detected correctly. The proposed procedure enhances the consistency of RT-qPCR pool testing by enforcing that the scales of detectability in pool processing and in individual sample processing are compatible. This may enhance the contribution of pool testing to large-scale testing for COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing/methods , COVID-19/virology , Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction/methods , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing/standards , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction/standards , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Young Adult
4.
Eur Respir J ; 58(1)2021 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-999707

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Nitazoxanide is widely available and exerts broad-spectrum antiviral activity in vitro. However, there is no evidence of its impact on severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection. METHODS: In a multicentre, randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, adult patients presenting up to 3 days after onset of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) symptoms (dry cough, fever and/or fatigue) were enrolled. After confirmation of SARS-CoV-2 infection using reverse transcriptase PCR on a nasopharyngeal swab, patients were randomised 1:1 to receive either nitazoxanide (500 mg) or placebo, three times daily, for 5 days. The primary outcome was complete resolution of symptoms. Secondary outcomes were viral load, laboratory tests, serum biomarkers of inflammation and hospitalisation rate. Adverse events were also assessed. RESULTS: From June 8 to August 20, 2020, 1575 patients were screened. Of these, 392 (198 placebo, 194 nitazoxanide) were analysed. Median (interquartile range) time from symptom onset to first dose of study drug was 5 (4-5) days. At the 5-day study visit, symptom resolution did not differ between the nitazoxanide and placebo arms. Swabs collected were negative for SARS-CoV-2 in 29.9% of patients in the nitazoxanide arm versus 18.2% in the placebo arm (p=0.009). Viral load was reduced after nitazoxanide compared to placebo (p=0.006). The percentage viral load reduction from onset to end of therapy was higher with nitazoxanide (55%) than placebo (45%) (p=0.013). Other secondary outcomes were not significantly different. No serious adverse events were observed. CONCLUSIONS: In patients with mild COVID-19, symptom resolution did not differ between nitazoxanide and placebo groups after 5 days of therapy. However, early nitazoxanide therapy was safe and reduced viral load significantly.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Adult , Humans , Nitro Compounds , SARS-CoV-2 , Thiazoles , Treatment Outcome
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