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1.
Front Med (Lausanne) ; 8: 749588, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1556183

ABSTRACT

Background: Testing of possibly infected individuals remains cornerstone of containing the spread of SARS-CoV-2. Detection dogs could contribute to mass screening. Previous research demonstrated canines' ability to detect SARS-CoV-2-infections but has not investigated if dogs can differentiate between COVID-19 and other virus infections. Methods: Twelve dogs were trained to detect SARS-CoV-2 positive samples. Three test scenarios were performed to evaluate their ability to discriminate SARS-CoV-2-infections from viral infections of a different aetiology. Naso- and oropharyngeal swab samples from individuals and samples from cell culture both infected with one of 15 viruses that may cause COVID-19-like symptoms were presented as distractors in a randomised, double-blind study. Dogs were either trained with SARS-CoV-2 positive saliva samples (test scenario I and II) or with supernatant from cell cultures (test scenario III). Results: When using swab samples from individuals infected with viruses other than SARS-CoV-2 as distractors (test scenario I), dogs detected swab samples from SARS-CoV-2-infected individuals with a mean diagnostic sensitivity of 73.8% (95% CI: 66.0-81.7%) and a specificity of 95.1% (95% CI: 92.6-97.7%). In test scenario II and III cell culture supernatant from cells infected with SARS-CoV-2, cells infected with other coronaviruses and non-infected cells were presented. Dogs achieved mean diagnostic sensitivities of 61.2% (95% CI: 50.7-71.6%, test scenario II) and 75.8% (95% CI: 53.0-98.5%, test scenario III), respectively. The diagnostic specificities were 90.9% (95% CI: 87.3-94.6%, test scenario II) and 90.2% (95% CI: 81.1-99.4%, test scenario III), respectively. Conclusion: In all three test scenarios the mean specificities were above 90% which indicates that dogs can distinguish SARS-CoV-2-infections from other viral infections. However, compared to earlier studies our scent dogs achieved lower diagnostic sensitivities. To deploy COVID-19 detection dogs as a reliable screening method it is therefore mandatory to include a variety of samples from different viral respiratory tract infections in dog training to ensure a successful discrimination process.

2.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-294802

ABSTRACT

Introduction: As vaccination against SARS-CoV-2 progresses rapidly around the world, reliable detection of SARS-CoV-2 specific neutralizing antibodies (NAb) has become an indispensable component of serological diagnostics. We evaluated the performance of four commercially available tests, i.e. two lateral flow assays (Coris BioConcept COVID-19 Sero NP/RBD and Concile InfectCheck COVID-19 NAb) and two surrogate ELISA (sELISA) tests (EUROIMMUN SARS-CoV-2 NeutraLISA and AdipoGen SARS-CoV-2 Neutralizing Antibodies Detection Kit) in comparison with an in-house SARS-CoV-2 micro neutralization test as reference. <br><br>Methods: A total of 334 sera were tested, including 30 samples collected prior to the emergence of SARS-CoV-2, 128 sera from convalescent patients as well as 176 sera from partially or fully vaccinated individuals.<br><br>Results: The overall sensitivity of LFAs differed and was 71.6% for the Coris and 98.4% for the Concile. In contrast, overall sensitivity of the NeutraLISA was 86% and 98% for the AdipoGen. All test showed the highest sensitivity when testing samples from fully vaccinated individuals with both sELISA achieving 100% sensitivity. Overall specificity was 89.3% for the Coris and only 58.3% for the Concile. Similarly significant differences were observed for both sELISA, with an overall specificity of 82.1% for the NeutraLISA and only 54.8% for the AdipoGen. All tests showed a 100% specificity when testing negative control samples while specificities were lowest when testing samples from only partially vaccinated individuals. <br><br>Conclusion: Our findings support the potential use of the Concile LFA and both sELISA for the detection of NAbs against SARS-CoV-2, especially to determine NAb levels after complete vaccination. <br>

3.
Euro Surveill ; 26(44)2021 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1504591

ABSTRACT

IntroductionThe detection of SARS-CoV-2 with rapid diagnostic tests (RDT) has become an important tool to identify infected people and break infection chains. These RDT are usually based on antigen detection in a lateral flow approach.AimWe aimed to establish a comprehensive specimen panel for the decentralised technical evaluation of SARS-CoV-2 antigen rapid diagnostic tests.MethodsWhile for PCR diagnostics the validation of a PCR assay is well established, there is no common validation strategy for antigen tests, including RDT. In this proof-of-principle study we present the establishment of a panel of 50 pooled clinical specimens that cover a SARS-CoV-2 concentration range from 1.1 × 109 to 420 genome copies per mL of specimen. The panel was used to evaluate 31 RDT in up to six laboratories.ResultsOur results show that there is considerable variation in the detection limits and the clinical sensitivity of different RDT. We show that the best RDT can be applied to reliably identify infectious individuals who present with SARS-CoV-2 loads down to 106 genome copies per mL of specimen. For the identification of infected individuals with SARS-CoV-2 loads corresponding to less than 106 genome copies per mL, only three RDT showed a clinical sensitivity of more than 60%.ConclusionsSensitive RDT can be applied to identify infectious individuals with high viral loads but not to identify all infected individuals.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Antigens, Viral , Diagnostic Tests, Routine , Humans , Sensitivity and Specificity , Serologic Tests
4.
J Virol Methods ; 299: 114352, 2022 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1500117

ABSTRACT

A number of RT-qPCR assays for the detection of SARS-CoV-2 have been published and are listed by the WHO as recommended assays. Furthermore, numerous commercial assays with undisclosed primer and probe sequences are on the market. As the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic progresses, the virus accrues mutations, which in some cases - as seen with the B.1.1.7 variant - can outperform and push back other strains of SARS-CoV-2. If mutations occur in primer or probe binding sites, this can impact RT-qPCR results and impede SARS-CoV-2 diagnostics. Here we tested the effect of primer mismatches on RT-qPCR performance in vitro using synthetic mismatch in vitro transcripts. The effects of the mismatches ranged from a shift in ct values from -0.13 to +7.61. Crucially, we found that a mismatch in the forward primer has a more detrimental effect for PCR performance than a mismatch in the reverse primer. Furthermore, we compared the performance of the original Charité RdRP primer set, which has several ambiguities, with a primer version without ambiguities and found that without ambiguities the ct values are ca. 3 ct lower. Finally, we investigated the shift in ct values observed with the Seegene Allplex kit with the B.1.1.7 SARS-CoV-2 variant and found a three-nucleotide mismatch in the forward primer of the N target.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Binding Sites , Humans , Mutation , RNA, Viral/genetics , Sensitivity and Specificity
6.
J Virol Methods ; 290: 114083, 2021 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1051816

ABSTRACT

In the current pandemic of SARS-CoV-2, rapid identification of infected individuals is crucial for management and control of the outbreak. However, transport of samples, sample processing and RT-qPCR analysis in laboratories are time-consuming. Here we present a prototype of a novel nucleic acid-based test format - pulse controlled amplification - that allows detection of SARS-CoV-2 directly from up to eight swab samples simultaneously without the need for RNA extraction within 25 min with a sensitivity of 100 % for samples with a viral load of ≥ 1.6 × 10e3 copies/µl This new principle might pave the way to rapid and sensitive point of care testing.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing/methods , COVID-19/diagnosis , Nucleic Acid Amplification Techniques/methods , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing/standards , Humans , Nucleic Acid Amplification Techniques/standards , Point-of-Care Testing , RNA, Viral/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Sensitivity and Specificity
7.
Nature ; 581(7809): 465-469, 2020 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-23868

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is an acute infection of the respiratory tract that emerged in late 20191,2. Initial outbreaks in China involved 13.8% of cases with severe courses, and 6.1% of cases with critical courses3. This severe presentation may result from the virus using a virus receptor that is expressed predominantly in the lung2,4; the same receptor tropism is thought to have determined the pathogenicity-but also aided in the control-of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) in 20035. However, there are reports of cases of COVID-19 in which the patient shows mild upper respiratory tract symptoms, which suggests the potential for pre- or oligosymptomatic transmission6-8. There is an urgent need for information on virus replication, immunity and infectivity in specific sites of the body. Here we report a detailed virological analysis of nine cases of COVID-19 that provides proof of active virus replication in tissues of the upper respiratory tract. Pharyngeal virus shedding was very high during the first week of symptoms, with a peak at 7.11 × 108 RNA copies per throat swab on day 4. Infectious virus was readily isolated from samples derived from the throat or lung, but not from stool samples-in spite of high concentrations of virus RNA. Blood and urine samples never yielded virus. Active replication in the throat was confirmed by the presence of viral replicative RNA intermediates in the throat samples. We consistently detected sequence-distinct virus populations in throat and lung samples from one patient, proving independent replication. The shedding of viral RNA from sputum outlasted the end of symptoms. Seroconversion occurred after 7 days in 50% of patients (and by day 14 in all patients), but was not followed by a rapid decline in viral load. COVID-19 can present as a mild illness of the upper respiratory tract. The confirmation of active virus replication in the upper respiratory tract has implications for the containment of COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/immunology , Betacoronavirus/isolation & purification , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Hospitalization , Pneumonia, Viral/immunology , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Seroconversion , Virus Replication , Antibodies, Viral/analysis , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Base Sequence , Betacoronavirus/genetics , Betacoronavirus/pathogenicity , Blood/virology , COVID-19 , COVID-19 Testing , Clinical Laboratory Techniques , Coronavirus Envelope Proteins , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Feces/chemistry , Feces/virology , Humans , Immunoglobulin G/analysis , Immunoglobulin G/immunology , Immunoglobulin M/analysis , Immunoglobulin M/immunology , Lung/virology , Pandemics , Pharynx/virology , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide/genetics , RNA, Viral/analysis , SARS-CoV-2 , Sputum/virology , Urine/virology , Viral Envelope Proteins/genetics , Viral Load/immunology , Virus Shedding
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