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N Z Med J ; 135(1559): 53-58, 2022 08 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2147482


AIM: To compare detection of SARS-CoV-2 from paired nasopharyngeal swabs (NPS) and saliva using molecular methods in common use for testing swabs in New Zealand. METHOD: Samples from individuals testing positive for SARS-CoV-2 in Auckland, Wellington and Dunedin were tested at the local laboratories using methods previously established for these sample types. RESULTS: One hundred and ninety-six paired samples from unique individuals were tested, with 46 (23%) positive from either sample type, of which 43/46 (93%) tested positive from NPS, and 42/46 (91%) from saliva, indicating no significant difference in performance between sample types (p=0.69). The average Δ Ct between saliva and nasopharyngeal swabs overall across the sample set was 0.22 cycles, indicating excellent concordance; however, the difference between NPS and saliva collected from the same individual was quite variable with up to 19 cycles difference between the sample types. CONCLUSION: We found that saliva is an equivalent sample type to nasopharyngeal swab for the detection of SARS-CoV-2 in our laboratories using multiple assay combinations and is suitable for use as a diagnostic and surveillance test for selected groups of individuals.

COVID-19 , Nucleic Acids , COVID-19/diagnosis , Clinical Laboratory Techniques/methods , Humans , Nasopharynx , New Zealand , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Saliva , Specimen Handling/methods
Emerg Infect Dis ; 27(3): 687-693, 2021 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1007034


Since the first wave of coronavirus disease in March 2020, citizens and permanent residents returning to New Zealand have been required to undergo managed isolation and quarantine (MIQ) for 14 days and mandatory testing for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). As of October 20, 2020, of 62,698 arrivals, testing of persons in MIQ had identified 215 cases of SARS-CoV-2 infection. Among 86 passengers on a flight from Dubai, United Arab Emirates, that arrived in New Zealand on September 29, test results were positive for 7 persons in MIQ. These passengers originated from 5 different countries before a layover in Dubai; 5 had negative predeparture SARS-CoV-2 test results. To assess possible points of infection, we analyzed information about their journeys, disease progression, and virus genomic data. All 7 SARS-CoV-2 genomes were genetically identical, except for a single mutation in 1 sample. Despite predeparture testing, multiple instances of in-flight SARS-CoV-2 transmission are likely.

Aircraft , COVID-19 , Quarantine , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/transmission , Humans , Masks , New Zealand , Physical Distancing , SARS-CoV-2/classification , United Arab Emirates