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1.
JAMA Netw Open ; 4(2): e210202, 2021 02 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1858185

ABSTRACT

Importance: Owing to concerns of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreaks, many congregant settings are forced to close when cases are detected because there are few data on the risk of different markers of transmission within groups. Objective: To determine whether symptoms and laboratory results on the first day of COVID-19 diagnosis are associated with development of a case cluster in a congregant setting. Design, Setting, and Participants: This cohort study of trainees with COVID-19 from May 11 through August 24, 2020, was conducted at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, the primary site of entry for enlistment in the US Air Force. Symptoms and duration, known contacts, and cycle threshold for trainees diagnosed by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction were collected. A cycle threshold value represents the number of nucleic acid amplification cycles that occur before a specimen containing the target material generates a signal greater than the predetermined threshold that defines positivity. Cohorts with 5 or more individuals with COVID-19 infection were defined as clusters. Participants included 10 613 trainees divided into 263 parallel cohorts of 30 to 50 people arriving weekly for 7 weeks of training. Exposures: All trainees were quarantined for 14 days on arrival. Testing was performed on arrival, on day 14, and anytime during training when indicated. Protective measures included universal masking, physical distancing, and rapid isolation of trainees with COVID-19. Main Outcomes and Measures: Association between days of symptoms, specific symptoms, number of symptoms, or cycle threshold values of individuals diagnosed with COVID-19 via reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction and subsequent transmission within cohorts. Results: In this cohort study of 10 613 US Air Force basic trainees in 263 cohorts, 403 trainees (3%) received a diagnosis of COVID-19 in 129 cohorts (49%). Among trainees with COVID-19 infection, 318 (79%) were men, and the median (interquartile range [IQR]) age was 20 (19-23) years; 204 (51%) were symptomatic, and 199 (49%) were asymptomatic. Median (IQR) cycle threshold values were lower in symptomatic trainees compared with asymptomatic trainees (21.2 [18.4-27.60] vs 34.8 [29.3-37.4]; P < .001). Cohorts with clusters of individuals with COVID-19 infection were predominantly men (204 cohorts [89%] vs 114 cohorts [64%]; P < .001), had more symptomatic trainees (146 cohorts [64%] vs 53 cohorts [30%]; P < .001), and had more median (IQR) symptoms per patient (3 [2-5] vs 1 [1-2]; P < .001) compared with cohorts without clusters. Within cohorts, subsequent development of clusters of 5 or more individuals with COVID-19 infection compared with those that did not develop clusters was associated with cohorts that had more symptomatic trainees (31 of 58 trainees [53%] vs 43 of 151 trainees [28%]; P = .001) and lower median (IQR) cycle threshold values (22.3 [18.4-27.3] vs 35.3 [26.5-37.8]; P < .001). Conclusions and Relevance: In this cohort study of US Air Force trainees living in a congregant setting during the COVID-19 pandemic, higher numbers of symptoms and lower cycle threshold values were associated with subsequent development of clusters of individuals with COVID-19 infection. These values may be useful if validated in future studies.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing/methods , COVID-19/transmission , Military Personnel/statistics & numerical data , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/physiopathology , Carrier State/diagnosis , Carrier State/epidemiology , Carrier State/transmission , Cohort Studies , Cough/physiopathology , Female , Headache/physiopathology , Humans , Male , Myalgia/physiopathology , Pharyngitis/physiopathology , Residence Characteristics , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2 , Severity of Illness Index , United States/epidemiology , Young Adult
2.
Braz. arch. biol. technol ; 64(spe): e21200147, 2021. tab, graf
Article in English | WHO COVID, LILACS (Americas) | ID: covidwho-1841192

ABSTRACT

Abstract With the COVID-19 pandemic, many diagnostic tests (molecular or immunological) were rapidly standardised, given the urgency of the situation, many are still in the process of being validated. The main objective of this study was to review the aspects of the diagnostic kits approved in Brazil and their application in the different federative units to gather epidemiological information. In order to achieve these objectives, a survey was carried out on the data available at the regulatory agency (ANVISA) and in the literature. The main countries that have registered products in Brazil are China (51.4%), Brazil (16.6%), South Korea (9.2%), USA (8.8%) and Germany (3.6%). The methodologies of these products are based on the detection of nucleic-acid (15.8%), antigen (13%) and antibody (71.2%). In the immunological tests, it was verified that the sensitivity ranged from 55 to 100% and the specificity from 80 to 100%. The percentage of cases in the samples tested in Brazil is elevated in almost all federative units since eight states showed 40% of positive cases in tested samples, while 18 states displayed between 20 and 40%. In conclusion, this review showed that Brazil is dependent on external technology to respond to pandemics, epidemics and endemics disease and needs to improve its biotechnological scheme to solve further diseases outbreaks.


Subject(s)
Humans , SARS Virus/isolation & purification , COVID-19/diagnosis , Immunologic Tests/instrumentation , Brazil/epidemiology , Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay/instrumentation , Chromatography, Affinity/instrumentation , COVID-19 Testing/instrumentation , COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing/methods
3.
Virol J ; 18(1): 189, 2021 09 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1779657

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The importance of clinicolaboratory characteristics of COVID-19 made us report our findings in the Alborz province according to the latest National Guideline for the diagnosis and treatment of COVID-19 in outpatients and inpatients (trial five versions, 25 March 2020) of Iran by emphasizing rRT-PCR results, clinical features, comorbidities, and other laboratory findings in patients according to the severity of the disease. METHODS: In this study, 202 patients were included, primarily of whom 164 had fulfilled the inclusion criteria. This cross-sectional, two-center study that involved 164 symptomatic adults hospitalized with the diagnosis of COVID-19 between March 5 and April 5, 2020, was performed to analyze the frequency of rRT-PCR results, distribution of comorbidities, and initial clinicolaboratory data in severe and non-severe cases, comparing the compatibility of two methods for categorizing the severity of the disease. RESULTS: According to our findings, 111 patients were rRT-PCR positive (67.6%), and 53 were rRT-PCR negative (32.4%), indicating no significant difference between severity groups that were not related to the date of symptoms' onset before admission. Based on the National Guideline, among vital signs and symptoms, mean oxygen saturation and frequency of nausea showed a significant difference between the two groups (P < 0.05); however, no significant difference was observed in comorbidities. In CURB-65 groups, among vital signs and comorbidities, mean oxygen saturation, diabetes, hypertension (HTN), hyperlipidemia, chronic heart disease (CHD), and asthma showed a significant difference between the two groups (P < 0.05), but no significant difference was seen in symptoms. CONCLUSION: In this study, rRT-PCR results of hospitalized patients with COVID-19 were not related to severity categories. From initial clinical characteristics, decreased oxygen saturation appears to be a more common abnormality in severe and non-severe categories. National Guideline indices seem to be more comprehensive to categorize patients in severity groups than CURB-65, and there was compatibility just in non-severe groups of National Guideline and CURB-65 categories.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing/methods , COVID-19/diagnosis , Polymerase Chain Reaction/methods , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Adult , Aged , COVID-19/physiopathology , Comorbidity , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Hospitalization , Humans , Iran , Male , Middle Aged , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Severity of Illness Index , World Health Organization
4.
Sci Rep ; 12(1): 3951, 2022 03 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1740471

ABSTRACT

The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has brought to light the need for expedient diagnostic testing. Cost and availability of large-scale testing capacity has led to a lag in turnaround time and hindered contact tracing efforts, resulting in a further spread of SARS-CoV-2. To increase the speed and frequency of testing, we developed a cost-effective single-tube approach for collection, denaturation, and analysis of clinical samples. The approach utilizes 1 µL microbiological inoculation loops to collect saliva, sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS) to inactivate and release viral genomic RNA, and a diagnostic reaction mix containing polysorbate 80 (Tween 80). In the same tube, the SDS-denatured clinical samples are introduced to the mixtures containing all components for nucleic acids detection and Tween 80 micelles to absorb the SDS and allow enzymatic reactions to proceed, obviating the need for further handling of the samples. The samples can be collected by the tested individuals, further decreasing the need for trained personnel to administer the test. We validated this single-tube sample-to-assay method with reverse transcription quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR) and reverse transcription loop-mediated isothermal amplification (RT-LAMP) and discovered little-to-no difference between Tween- and SDS-containing reaction mixtures, compared to control reactions. This approach reduces the logistical burden of traditional large-scale testing and provides a method of deployable point-of-care diagnostics to increase testing frequency.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing/methods , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Saliva/virology , COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing/instrumentation , Humans , Molecular Diagnostic Techniques , Nucleic Acid Amplification Techniques , Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction , Specimen Handling/instrumentation , Specimen Handling/methods
5.
Sci Rep ; 12(1): 3775, 2022 03 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1735272

ABSTRACT

Loop-mediated isothermal amplification is known for its high sensitivity, specificity and tolerance to inhibiting-substances. In this work, we developed a device for performing real-time colorimetric LAMP combining the accuracy of lab-based quantitative analysis with the simplicity of point-of-care testing. The device innovation lies on the use of a plastic tube anchored vertically on a hot surface while the side walls are exposed to a mini camera able to take snapshots of the colour change in real time during LAMP amplification. Competitive features are the rapid analysis (< 30 min), quantification over 9 log-units, crude sample-compatibility (saliva, tissue, swabs), low detection limit (< 5 copies/reaction), smartphone-operation, fast prototyping (3D-printing) and ability to select the dye of interest (Phenol red, HNB). The device's clinical utility is demonstrated in cancer mutations-analysis during the detection of 0.01% of BRAF-V600E-to-wild-type molecules from tissue samples and COVID-19 testing with 97% (Ct < 36.8) and 98% (Ct < 30) sensitivity when using extracted RNA and nasopharyngeal-swabs, respectively. The device high technology-readiness-level makes it a suitable platform for performing any colorimetric LAMP assay; moreover, its simple and inexpensive fabrication holds promise for fast deployment and application in global diagnostics.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing/methods , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/virology , COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing/instrumentation , Colorimetry , Humans , Limit of Detection , Molecular Diagnostic Techniques , Nasopharynx/virology , Neoplasms/diagnosis , Neoplasms/genetics , Neoplasms/pathology , Nucleic Acid Amplification Techniques , Point-of-Care Testing , Proto-Oncogene Proteins B-raf/genetics , RNA, Viral/analysis , RNA, Viral/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Sensitivity and Specificity , Smartphone
7.
J Med Virol ; 94(4): 1606-1616, 2022 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1718406

ABSTRACT

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has sparked the rapid development of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) diagnostics. However, emerging variants pose the risk for target dropout and false-negative results secondary to primer/probe binding site (PBS) mismatches. The Agena MassARRAY® SARS-CoV-2 Panel combines reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction and matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass-spectrometry to probe for five targets across N and ORF1ab genes, which provides a robust platform to accommodate PBS mismatches in divergent viruses. Herein, we utilize a deidentified data set of 1262 SARS-CoV-2-positive specimens from Mount Sinai Health System (New York City) from December 2020 to April 2021 to evaluate target results and corresponding sequencing data. Overall, the level of PBS mismatches was greater in specimens with target dropout. Of specimens with N3 target dropout, 57% harbored an A28095T substitution that is highly specific for the Alpha (B.1.1.7) variant of concern. These data highlight the benefit of redundancy in target design and the potential for target performance to illuminate the dynamics of circulating SARS-CoV-2 variants.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing/methods , Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Spectrometry, Mass, Matrix-Assisted Laser Desorption-Ionization , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/virology , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/genetics , Genetic Variation , Genome, Viral/genetics , Humans , New York City/epidemiology , Phosphoproteins/genetics , Polyproteins/genetics , RNA, Viral/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Viral Proteins/genetics
8.
Sci Rep ; 12(1): 2883, 2022 02 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1707349

ABSTRACT

We report the development of a large scale process for heat inactivation of clinical COVID-19 samples prior to laboratory processing for detection of SARS-CoV-2 by RT-qPCR. With more than 266 million confirmed cases, over 5.26 million deaths already recorded at the time of writing, COVID-19 continues to spread in many parts of the world. Consequently, mass testing for SARS-CoV-2 will remain at the forefront of the COVID-19 response and prevention for the near future. Due to biosafety considerations the standard testing process requires a significant amount of manual handling of patient samples within calibrated microbiological safety cabinets. This makes the process expensive, effects operator ergonomics and restricts testing to higher containment level laboratories. We have successfully modified the process by using industrial catering ovens for bulk heat inactivation of oropharyngeal/nasopharyngeal swab samples within their secondary containment packaging before processing in the lab to enable all subsequent activities to be performed in the open laboratory. As part of a validation process, we tested greater than 1200 clinical COVID-19 samples and showed less than 1 Cq loss in RT-qPCR test sensitivity. We also demonstrate the bulk heat inactivation protocol inactivates a murine surrogate of human SARS-CoV-2. Using bulk heat inactivation, the assay is no longer reliant on containment level 2 facilities and practices, which reduces cost, improves operator safety and ergonomics and makes the process scalable. In addition, heating as the sole method of virus inactivation is ideally suited to streamlined and more rapid workflows such as 'direct to PCR' assays that do not involve RNA extraction or chemical neutralisation methods.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing/methods , COVID-19/diagnosis , Containment of Biohazards/methods , Hot Temperature , Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction/methods , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Specimen Handling/methods , Virus Inactivation , Animals , COVID-19/virology , Cell Line , Humans , Mice , Murine hepatitis virus/genetics , RNA, Viral/genetics , RNA, Viral/isolation & purification , Sensitivity and Specificity
9.
Nat Commun ; 13(1): 968, 2022 02 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1705624

ABSTRACT

DNA/RNA-gold nanoparticle (DNA/RNA-AuNP) nanoprobes have been widely employed for nanobiotechnology applications. Here, we discover that both thiolated and non-thiolated DNA/RNA can be efficiently attached to AuNPs to achieve high-stable spherical nucleic acid (SNA) within minutes under a domestic microwave (MW)-assisted heating-dry circumstance. Further studies show that for non-thiolated DNA/RNA the conjugation is poly (T/U) tag dependent. Spectroscopy, test strip hybridization, and loading counting experiments indicate that low-affinity poly (T/U) tag mediates the formation of a standing-up conformation, which is distributed in the outer layer of SNA structure. In further application studies, CRISPR/Cas9-sgRNA (136 bp), SARS-CoV-2 RNA fragment (1278 bp), and rolling circle amplification (RCA) DNA products (over 1000 bp) can be successfully attached on AuNPs, which overcomes the routine methods in long-chain nucleic acid-AuNP conjugation, exhibiting great promise in biosensing and nucleic acids delivery applications. Current heating-dry strategy has improved traditional DNA/RNA-AuNP conjugation methods in simplicity, rapidity, cost, and universality.


Subject(s)
Biosensing Techniques/methods , Gold/chemistry , Metal Nanoparticles/chemistry , Biotechnology/methods , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/virology , COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing/methods , DNA/chemistry , Heating/methods , Humans , Limit of Detection , Microwaves , Nanomedicine/methods , RNA, Viral/chemistry , RNA, Viral/genetics , RNA, Viral/isolation & purification , SARS-CoV-2/genetics
10.
Sci Rep ; 12(1): 2853, 2022 02 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1700332

ABSTRACT

Corona Virus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a disease caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). This pandemic has brought the world to a standstill and threatened human lives. Many methods are known to date to detect this virus. Due to their relative sensitivity, polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based assays are the most frequently applied and considered the gold standard. However, due to the rapid mutation rate of the viral genome and the emergence of new variants, existing protocols need to be updated and improved. Designing a fast and accurate PCR-based assay is of great importance for the early detection of this virus and more efficient control of the spread of this disease. This study describes a fast, reliable, easy-to-use, and high-throughput multiplex SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR detection method. The assay was designed to detect two viral genes (N and RdRP) and a human gene (RP) simultaneously. The performance and the sensitivity of the assay were tested in 28 SARS-CoV-2 positive samples and compared with commercial kits, which showed 100% positive percent agreement with a limit of detection (LOD) value of 1.40 and 0.81 copies/µL or 35.13 and 20.31 copies/reaction for RdRP and N genes, respectively. The current assay is found accurate, reliable, simple, sensitive, and specific. It can be used as an optimized SARS-CoV-2 diagnostic assay in hospitals, medical centers, and diagnostic laboratories as well as for research purposes.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing/methods , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/genetics , Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction/methods , Ribonuclease P/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Humans
11.
PLoS One ; 17(2): e0263794, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1674022

ABSTRACT

Genomic surveillance empowers agile responses to SARS-CoV-2 by enabling scientists and public health analysts to issue recommendations aimed at slowing transmission, prioritizing contact tracing, and building a robust genomic sequencing surveillance strategy. Since the start of the pandemic, real time RT-PCR diagnostic testing from upper respiratory specimens, such as nasopharyngeal (NP) swabs, has been the standard. Moreover, respiratory samples in viral transport media are the ideal specimen for SARS-CoV-2 whole-genome sequencing (WGS). In early 2021, many clinicians transitioned to antigen-based SARS-CoV-2 detection tests, which use anterior nasal swabs for SARS-CoV-2 antigen detection. Despite this shift in testing methods, the need for whole-genome sequence surveillance remains. Thus, we developed a workflow for whole-genome sequencing with antigen test-derived swabs as an input rather than nasopharyngeal swabs. In this study, we use excess clinical specimens processed using the BinaxNOW™ COVID-19 Ag Card. We demonstrate that whole-genome sequencing from antigen tests is feasible and yields similar results from RT-PCR-based assays utilizing a swab in viral transport media.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing/methods , COVID-19/diagnosis , Culture Media/analysis , High-Throughput Nucleotide Sequencing/methods , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Specimen Handling/methods , Whole Genome Sequencing/methods , COVID-19/genetics , COVID-19/virology , Culture Media/metabolism , Humans , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification
12.
Viruses ; 14(2)2022 02 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1667351

ABSTRACT

Efficient, wide-scale testing for SARS-CoV-2 is crucial for monitoring the incidence of the infection in the community. The gold standard for COVID-19 diagnosis is the molecular analysis of epithelial secretions from the upper respiratory system captured by nasopharyngeal (NP) or oropharyngeal swabs. Given the ease of collection, saliva has been proposed as a possible substitute to support testing at the population level. Here, we used a novel saliva collection device designed to favour the safe and correct acquisition of the sample, as well as the processivity of the downstream molecular analysis. We tested 1003 nasopharyngeal swabs and paired saliva samples self-collected by individuals recruited at a public drive-through testing facility. An overall moderate concordance (68%) between the two tests was found, with evidence that neither system can diagnose the infection in 100% of the cases. While the two methods performed equally well in symptomatic individuals, their discordance was mainly restricted to samples from convalescent subjects. The saliva test was at least as effective as NP swabs in asymptomatic individuals recruited for contact tracing. Our study describes a testing strategy of self-collected saliva samples, which is reliable for wide-scale COVID-19 screening in the community and is particularly effective for contact tracing.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing/methods , COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing/standards , RNA, Viral/analysis , Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction/methods , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Saliva/virology , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/virology , Female , Humans , Male , Mass Screening , Nasopharynx/virology , RNA, Viral/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Specimen Handling/methods
13.
PLoS One ; 17(1): e0259886, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1666744

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 has exposed stark inequalities between resource-rich and resource-poor countries. International UN- and WHO-led efforts, such as COVAX, have provided SARS-CoV-2 vaccines but half of African countries have less than 2% vaccinated in their population, and only 15 have reached 10% by October 2021, further disadvantaging local economic recovery. Key for this implementation and preventing further mutation and spread is the frequency of voluntary [asymptomatic] testing. It is limited by expensive PCR and LAMP tests, uncomfortable probes deep in the throat or nose, and the availability of hardware to administer in remote locations. There is an urgent need for an inexpensive "end-to-end" system to deliver sensitive and reliable, non-invasive tests in resource-poor and field-test conditions. We introduce a non-invasive saliva-based LAMP colorimetric test kit and a $51 lab-in-a-backpack system that detects as few as 4 viral RNA copies per µL. It consists of eight chemicals, a thermometer, a thermos bottle, two micropipettes and a 1000-4000 rcf electronically operated centrifuge made from recycled computer hard drives (CentriDrive). The centrifuge includes a 3D-printed rotor and a 12 V rechargeable Li-ion battery, and its 12 V standard also allows wiring directly to automobile batteries, to enable field-use of this and other tests in low infrastructure settings. The test takes 90 minutes to process 6 samples and has reagent costs of $3.5 per sample. The non-invasive nature of saliva testing would allow higher penetration of testing and wider adoption of the test across cultures and settings (including refugee camps and disaster zones). The attached graphical procedure would make the test suitable for self-testing at home, performing it in the field, or in mobile testing centers by minimally trained staff.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/diagnosis , Molecular Diagnostic Techniques/methods , Nucleic Acid Amplification Techniques/methods , RNA, Viral/analysis , COVID-19/virology , COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing/economics , COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing/methods , Colorimetry , Humans , Molecular Diagnostic Techniques/economics , Molecular Diagnostic Techniques/instrumentation , Nucleic Acid Amplification Techniques/economics , Nucleic Acid Amplification Techniques/instrumentation , Point-of-Care Systems , RNA, Viral/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Saliva/virology
14.
Anal Bioanal Chem ; 414(5): 1773-1785, 2022 Feb.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1653430

ABSTRACT

Nucleic acid tests to detect the SARS-CoV-2 virus have been performed worldwide since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. For the quality assessment of testing laboratories and the performance evaluation of molecular diagnosis products, reference materials (RMs) are required. In this work, we report the production of a lentiviral SARS-CoV-2 RM containing approximately 12 kilobases of its genome including common diagnostics targets such as RdRp, N, E, and S genes. The RM was measured with multiple assays using two different digital PCR platforms. To measure the homogeneity and stability of the lentiviral SARS-CoV-2 RM, reverse transcription droplet digital PCR (RT-ddPCR) was used with in-house duplex assays. The copy number concentration of each target gene in the extracted RNA solution was then converted to that of the RM solution. Their copy number values are measured to be from 1.5 × 105 to 2.0 × 105 copies/mL. The RM has a between-bottle homogeneity of 4.80-8.23% and is stable at 4 °C for 1 week and at -70 °C for 6 months. The lentiviral SARS-CoV-2 RM closely mimics real samples that undergo identical pre-analytical processes for SARS-CoV-2 molecular testing. By offering accurate reference values for the absolute copy number of viral target genes, the developed RM can be used to improve the reliability of SARS-CoV-2 molecular testing.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing/methods , COVID-19/diagnosis , Genome, Viral , RNA, Viral/genetics , Reagent Kits, Diagnostic/standards , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , COVID-19/virology , COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing/standards , Coronavirus Envelope Proteins/genetics , Coronavirus Envelope Proteins/metabolism , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/genetics , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/metabolism , Coronavirus RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase/genetics , Coronavirus RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase/metabolism , Gene Dosage , Gene Expression , Humans , Jurkat Cells , Lentivirus/genetics , Lentivirus/metabolism , Phosphoproteins/genetics , Phosphoproteins/metabolism , RNA, Viral/metabolism , RNA, Viral/standards , Reagent Kits, Diagnostic/supply & distribution , Reference Standards , Reproducibility of Results , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Viral Genome Packaging
15.
J Infect Dis ; 225(2): 208-213, 2022 01 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1635423

ABSTRACT

The burden of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in children represents a fraction of cases worldwide, yet a subset of those infected are at risk for severe disease. We measured plasma severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) RNA in a cohort of 103 children hospitalized with COVID-19 with diverse clinical manifestations. SARS-CoV-2 RNAemia was detected in 27 (26%) of these children, lasted for a median of 6 (interquartile range, 2-9) days, and was associated with higher rates of oxygen administration, admission to the intensive care unit, and longer hospitalization.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing/methods , COVID-19/diagnosis , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Adolescent , COVID-19/epidemiology , Child , Child, Preschool , Female , Hospitalization , Humans , Infant , Intensive Care Units , Male , Nasopharynx/virology , RNA, Viral/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Severity of Illness Index , Viremia/epidemiology
16.
PLoS One ; 16(12): e0260884, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1632593

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: To exploit the features of digital PCR for implementing SARS-CoV-2 observational studies by reliably including the viral load factor expressed as copies/µL. METHODS: A small cohort of 51 Covid-19 positive samples was assessed by both RT-qPCR and digital PCR assays. A linear regression model was built using a training subset, and its accuracy was assessed in the remaining evaluation subset. The model was then used to convert the stored cycle threshold values of a large dataset of 6208 diagnostic samples into copies/µL of SARS-CoV-2. The calculated viral load was used for a single cohort retrospective study. Finally, the cohort was randomly divided into a training set (n = 3095) and an evaluation set (n = 3113) to establish a logistic regression model for predicting case-fatality and to assess its accuracy. RESULTS: The model for converting the Ct values into copies/µL was suitably accurate. The calculated viral load over time in the cohort of Covid-19 positive samples showed very low viral loads during the summer inter-epidemic waves in Italy. The calculated viral load along with gender and age allowed building a predictive model of case-fatality probability which showed high specificity (99.0%) and low sensitivity (21.7%) at the optimal threshold which varied by modifying the threshold (i.e. 75% sensitivity and 83.7% specificity). Alternative models including categorised cVL or raw cycle thresholds obtained by the same diagnostic method also gave the same performance. CONCLUSION: The modelling of the cycle threshold values using digital PCR had the potential of fostering studies addressing issues regarding Sars-CoV-2; furthermore, it may allow setting up predictive tools capable of early identifying those patients at high risk of case-fatality already at diagnosis, irrespective of the diagnostic RT-qPCR platform in use. Depending upon the epidemiological situation, public health authority policies/aims, the resources available and the thresholds used, adequate sensitivity could be achieved with acceptable low specificity.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/virology , Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction/methods , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Viral Load/methods , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , COVID-19/mortality , COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing/methods , Child , Child, Preschool , Female , Genome, Viral , Humans , Logistic Models , Male , Middle Aged , Retrospective Studies , Sensitivity and Specificity , Young Adult
17.
Anal Biochem ; 641: 114565, 2022 03 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1632512

ABSTRACT

Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) is the most widely used method for nucleic acids amplification. To date, a huge number of versatile PCR techniques have been developed. One of the relevant goals is to shorten PCR duration, which can be achieved in several ways. Here, we report on the results regarding nucleic acids amplification by convective PCR (cPCR) in standard 0.2 ml polypropylene microtubes. The following conditions were found to be optimal for such amplification: 1) 70 µl reaction volume, 2) the supply of external temperature 145°Ð¡ for the denaturation zone and 0°Ð¡ for the annealing zone, 3) ∼30° inclination of the microtube main axis, 4) the use of nearby primers, and 5) duration of the reaction 15-20 min. At these conditions, the amplification products are accumulated in an amount sufficient to be registered by gel electrophoresis, and high sensitivity of the reaction comparable to that of conventional PCR is achieved. cPCR provided the reliable detection of SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus RNA isolated from nasopharyngeal swabs of COVID-19 patients.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing/instrumentation , COVID-19/diagnosis , Polymerase Chain Reaction/instrumentation , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , COVID-19/virology , COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing/economics , COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing/methods , Convection , Humans , Polymerase Chain Reaction/economics , Polymerase Chain Reaction/methods , RNA, Viral/analysis , RNA, Viral/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Temperature , Time Factors
18.
PLoS One ; 16(12): e0261230, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1630984

ABSTRACT

The systematic screening of asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic individuals is a powerful tool for controlling community transmission of infectious disease on college campuses. Faced with a paucity of testing in the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, many universities developed molecular diagnostic laboratories focused on SARS-CoV-2 diagnostic testing on campus and in their broader communities. We established the UC Santa Cruz Molecular Diagnostic Lab in early April 2020 and began testing clinical samples just five weeks later. Using a clinically-validated laboratory developed test (LDT) that avoided supply chain constraints, an automated sample pooling and processing workflow, and a custom laboratory information management system (LIMS), we expanded testing from a handful of clinical samples per day to thousands per day with the testing capacity to screen our entire campus population twice per week. In this report we describe the technical, logistical, and regulatory processes that enabled our pop-up lab to scale testing and reporting capacity to thousands of tests per day.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing/methods , COVID-19/diagnosis , Clinical Laboratory Techniques/methods , Diagnostic Tests, Routine/methods , Mass Screening/methods , Pandemics/prevention & control , Diagnostic Screening Programs , Humans , Universities
19.
PLoS One ; 17(1): e0262820, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1628968

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Early and accurate detection of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is critical to prevent spread of the infection. Understanding of the antibody response to SARS-CoV-2 in patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is insufficient, particularly in relation to those whose responses persist for more than 1 month after the onset of symptoms. We conducted a SARS-CoV-2 antibody test to identify factors affecting the serological response and to evaluate its diagnostic utility in patients with COVID-19. METHODS AND FINDING: We collected 1,048 residual serum samples from 396 patients with COVID-19 confirmed by real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) for SARS-CoV-2. The samples had been used for routine admission tests in six healthcare institutions in Daegu. Antibody to SARS-CoV-2 was analyzed and the cutoff index (COI) was calculated for quantitative analysis. The patients' information was reviewed to evaluate the relationship between antibody positivity and clinical characteristics. The anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibody positivity rate was 85% and the average COI was 24·3. The positivity rate and COI increased with time elapsed since symptom onset. Anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibody persisted for at least 13 weeks after symptom onset at a high COI. There was a significant difference in anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibody positivity rate between patients with and without symptoms, but not according to sex or disease course. The descending COI pattern at weeks 1 to 5 after symptom onset was significantly more frequent in patients who died than in those who recovered. CONCLUSIONS: Anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibody persisted for at least 13 weeks at a high COI in patients with COVID-19. A decreasing COI pattern up to fifth week may be associated with a poor prognosis of COVID-19. As new treatments and vaccines are introduced, it is important to monitor continuously the usefulness of anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibody assays.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19 Serological Testing/methods , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Aged , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing/methods , Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay/methods , Female , Humans , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Immunoglobulin G/immunology , Immunoglobulin M/blood , Immunoglobulin M/immunology , Male , Middle Aged , Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction/methods , Republic of Korea/epidemiology , Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction/methods , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Sensitivity and Specificity
20.
PLoS One ; 17(1): e0262656, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1638777

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2, the cause of COVID-19, requires reliable diagnostic methods to track the circulation of this virus. Following the development of RT-qPCR methods to meet this diagnostic need in January 2020, it became clear from interlaboratory studies that the reported Ct values obtained for the different laboratories showed high variability. Despite this the Ct values were explored as a quantitative cut off to aid clinical decisions based on viral load. Consequently, there was a need to introduce standards to support estimation of SARS-CoV-2 viral load in diagnostic specimens. In a collaborative study, INSTAND established two reference materials (RMs) containing heat-inactivated SARS-CoV-2 with SARS-CoV-2 RNA loads of ~107 copies/mL (RM 1) and ~106 copies/mL (RM 2), respectively. Quantification was performed by RT-qPCR using synthetic SARS-CoV-2 RNA standards and digital PCR. Between November 2020 and February 2021, German laboratories were invited to use the two RMs to anchor their Ct values measured in routine diagnostic specimens, with the Ct values of the two RMs. A total of 305 laboratories in Germany were supplied with RM 1 and RM 2. The laboratories were requested to report their measured Ct values together with details on the PCR method they used to INSTAND. This resultant 1,109 data sets were differentiated by test system and targeted gene region. Our findings demonstrate that an indispensable prerequisite for linking Ct values to SARS-CoV-2 viral loads is that they are treated as being unique to an individual laboratory. For this reason, clinical guidance based on viral loads should not cite Ct values. The RMs described were a suitable tool to determine the specific laboratory Ct for a given viral load. Furthermore, as Ct values can also vary between runs when using the same instrument, such RMs could be used as run controls to ensure reproducibility of the quantitative measurements.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing/methods , COVID-19/diagnosis , Diagnostic Tests, Routine/methods , RNA, Viral/genetics , Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction/methods , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Viral Load/methods , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/virology , Genes, Viral , Germany/epidemiology , Humans , Reproducibility of Results
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