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1.
Sci Rep ; 12(1): 11500, 2022 Jul 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1921715

ABSTRACT

Despite the advance of vaccination worldwide, epidemic waves caused by more transmissible and immune evasive genetic variants of SARS-CoV-2 have sustained the ongoing pandemic of COVID-19. Monitoring such variants is expensive, as it usually relies on whole-genome sequencing methods. Therefore, it is necessary to develop alternatives that could help identify samples from specific variants. Reverse transcription loop-mediated isothermal amplification is a method that has been increasingly used for nucleic acid amplification, as it is cheaper and easier to perform when compared to other molecular techniques. As a proof of concept that can help distinguish variants, we present an RT-LAMP assay capable of detecting samples carrying a group of mutations that can be related to specific SARS-CoV-2 lineages, here demonstrated for the Variant of Concern Gamma. We tested 60 SARS-CoV-2 RNA samples extracted from swab samples and the reaction showed a sensitivity of 93.33%, a specificity of 88.89% and a kappa value of 0.822 for samples with a Ct ≤ 22.93. The RT-LAMP assay demonstrated to be useful to distinguish VOC Gamma and may be of particular interest as a screening approach for variants in countries with poor sequencing coverage.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/epidemiology , Colorimetry/methods , DNA Primers , Humans , Molecular Diagnostic Techniques/methods , Mutation , Nucleic Acid Amplification Techniques/methods , RNA, Viral/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Sensitivity and Specificity
2.
BMC Bioinformatics ; 23(1): 239, 2022 Jun 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1894413

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: This paper presents a new R/Bioconductor package, rprimer, for design of degenerate oligos and PCR assays for sequence variable viruses. A multiple DNA sequence alignment is used as input data, while the outputs consist of comprehensive tables (data frames) and dashboard-like plots. The workflow can be run directly from the R console or through a graphical user interface (Shiny application). Here, rprimer is demonstrated and evaluated by using it to design two norovirus genogroup I (GI) assays: one RT-qPCR assay for quantitative detection and one RT­PCR assay for Sanger sequencing and polymerase-capsid based genotyping. RESULTS: The assays generated were evaluated using stool samples testing positive for norovirus GI. The RT-qPCR assay accurately amplified and quantified all samples and showed comparable performance to a widely-used standardised assay, while the RT-PCR assay resulted in successful sequencing and genotyping of all samples. Merits and limitations of the package were identified through comparison with three similar freely available software packages. Several features were comparable across the different tools, but important advantages of rprimer were its speed, flexibility in oligo design and capacity for visualisation. CONCLUSIONS: An R/Bioconductor package, rprimer, was developed and shown to be successful in designing primers and probes for quantitative detection and genotyping of a sequence-variable virus. The package provides an efficient, flexible and visual approach to degenerate oligo design, and can therefore assist in virus research and method development.


Subject(s)
Norovirus , DNA Primers/genetics , Norovirus/genetics , Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction/methods , Sequence Alignment
3.
Bull Exp Biol Med ; 172(4): 495-498, 2022 Feb.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1756827

ABSTRACT

The measurement of the level of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) in the blood is a difficult problem due to high variability of mitochondrial genes, deletions in the mitochondrial genome in some pathological conditions, different sources of mtDNA into the bloodstream (mtDNA from tissues, from blood cells, etc.). We designed primers and TaqMan probes for highly conserved regions of the ND1 and ND2 genes outside the mitochondrial deletions "hot zones". For standardizing the technique, the true concentration of low-molecular-weight mtDNA was determined by real-time PCR for two targets: a fragment of the ND2 gene (122 bp) and the ND1 and ND2 genes (1198 bp). The sensitivity and specificity of the developed approach were verified on a DNA pool isolated from the blood plasma of healthy donors of various nationalities. The concentration of low-molecular-weight mtDNA in the blood plasma of two patients with COVID-19 was monitored over two weeks of inpatient treatment. A significant increase in the content of low-molecular-weight mtDNA was observed during the first 5 days after hospitalization, followed by a drop to the level of healthy donors. The developed technique makes it possible to assess the blood level of low-molecular-weight mtDNA regardless of the quality of sampling and makes it possible to standardize this biological marker in a wide range of infectious and non-infectious pathologies.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/metabolism , Cell-Free Nucleic Acids/genetics , DNA, Mitochondrial/genetics , NADH Dehydrogenase/genetics , Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction/standards , Adult , Aged , COVID-19/virology , Case-Control Studies , Cell-Free Nucleic Acids/blood , DNA Primers/chemical synthesis , DNA, Mitochondrial/blood , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Mitochondria/genetics , Mitochondria/virology , NADH Dehydrogenase/blood , Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction/methods , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity
4.
Viruses ; 14(3)2022 03 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1742730

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The recently emerged SARS-CoV-2 B.1.1.529 lineage and its sublineages (Omicron variant) pose a new challenge to healthcare systems worldwide due to its ability to efficiently spread in immunized populations and its resistance to currently available monoclonal antibody therapies. RT-PCR-based variant tests can be used to screen large sample-sets rapidly and accurately for relevant variants of concern (VOC). The aim of this study was to establish and validate a multiplex assay on the cobas 6800/8800 systems to allow discrimination between the two currently circulating VOCs, Omicron and Delta, in clinical samples. METHODS: Primers and probes were evaluated for multiplex compatibility. Analytic performance was assessed using cell culture supernatant of an Omicron variant isolate and a clinical Delta variant sample, normalized to WHO-Standard. Clinical performance of the multiplex assay was benchmarked against NGS results. RESULTS: In silico testing of all oligos showed no interactions with a high risk of primer-dimer formation or amplification of human DNA/RNA. Over 99.9% of all currently available Omicron variant sequences are a perfect match for at least one of the three Omicron targets included in the multiplex. Analytic sensitivity was determined as 19.0 IU/mL (CI95%: 12.9-132.2 IU/mL) for the A67V + del-HV69-70 target, 193.9 IU/mL (CI95%: 144.7-334.7 IU/mL) for the E484A target, 35.5 IU/mL (CI95%: 23.3-158.0 IU/mL) for the N679K + P681H target and 105.0 IU/mL (CI95%: 80.7-129.3 IU/mL) for the P681R target. All sequence variances were correctly detected in the clinical sample set (225/225 Targets). CONCLUSION: RT-PCR-based variant screening compared to whole genome sequencing is both rapid and reliable in detecting relevant sequence variations in SARS-CoV-2 positive samples to exclude or verify relevant VOCs. This allows short-term decision-making, e.g., for patient treatment or public health measures.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19/diagnosis , DNA Primers/genetics , High-Throughput Screening Assays , Humans , SARS-CoV-2/genetics
5.
PLoS One ; 16(11): e0258263, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1700786

ABSTRACT

Clinical and surveillance testing for the SARS-CoV-2 virus relies overwhelmingly on RT-qPCR-based diagnostics, yet several popular assays require 2-3 separate reactions or rely on detection of a single viral target, which adds significant time, cost, and risk of false-negative results. Furthermore, multiplexed RT-qPCR tests that detect at least two SARS-CoV-2 genes in a single reaction are typically not affordable for large scale clinical surveillance or adaptable to multiple PCR machines and plate layouts. We developed a RT-qPCR assay using the Luna Probe Universal One-Step RT-qPCR master mix with publicly available primers and probes to detect SARS-CoV-2 N gene, E gene, and human RNase P (LuNER) to address these shortcomings and meet the testing demands of a university campus and the local community. This cost-effective test is compatible with BioRad or Applied Biosystems qPCR machines, in 96 and 384-well formats, with or without sample pooling, and has a detection sensitivity suitable for both clinical reporting and wastewater surveillance efforts.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/virology , Ribonuclease P/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Waste Water/virology , DNA Primers/genetics , Humans , RNA, Viral/genetics , Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction/methods , Sensitivity and Specificity , Specimen Handling/methods , Wastewater-Based Epidemiological Monitoring
6.
Diagn Microbiol Infect Dis ; 102(4): 115631, 2022 Apr.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1670407

ABSTRACT

One SARS-CoV-2-positive sample demonstrated impaired detection of the N1 target by RT-PCR using US CDC primer/probe sets. A 3 nucleotide deletion was discovered that overlaps the forward primer binding site. This finding underscores the importance of continued SARS-CoV-2 mutation surveillance and assessment of the impact on diagnostic test performance.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19/diagnosis , DNA Primers/genetics , Humans , RNA, Viral/analysis , RNA, Viral/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Sensitivity and Specificity
7.
PLoS One ; 16(12): e0261778, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1613357

ABSTRACT

Many CRISPR/Cas platforms have been established for the detection of SARS-CoV-2. But the detection platform of the variants of SARS-CoV-2 is scarce because its specificity is very challenging to achieve for those with only one or a few nucleotide(s) differences. Here, we report for the first time that chimeric crRNA could be critical in enhancing the specificity of CRISPR-Cas12a detecting of N501Y, which is shared by Alpha, Beta, Gamma, and Mu variants of SARS-CoV-2 without compromising its sensitivity. This strategy could also be applied to detect other SARS-CoV-2 variants that differ only one or a few nucleotide(s) differences.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/diagnosis , Nucleic Acid Amplification Techniques/methods , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , COVID-19/genetics , CRISPR-Cas Systems/genetics , DNA Primers/genetics , Diagnostic Tests, Routine/methods , Humans , Mutation/genetics , RNA, Guide/genetics , RNA, Guide/metabolism , Sensitivity and Specificity
8.
PLoS One ; 16(12): e0260850, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1613341

ABSTRACT

Novel strains of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) harboring nucleotide changes (mutations) in the spike gene have emerged and are spreading rapidly. These mutations are associated with SARS-CoV-2 transmissibility, virulence, or resistance to some neutralizing antibodies. Thus, the accurate detection of spike mutants is crucial for controlling SARS-CoV-2 transmission and identifying neutralizing antibody-resistance caused by amino acid changes in the receptor-binding domain. Here, we developed five SARS-CoV-2 spike gene primer pairs (5-SSG primer assay; 69S, 144S, 417S, 484S, and 570S) and verified their ability to detect nine key spike mutations (ΔH69/V70, T95I, G142D, ΔY144, K417T/N, L452R, E484K/Q, N501Y, and H655Y) using a Sanger sequencing-based assay. The 5-SSG primer assay showed 100% specificity and a conservative limit of detection with a median tissue culture infective dose (TCID50) values of 1.4 × 102 TCID50/mL. The accuracy of the 5-SSG primer assay was confirmed by next generation sequencing. The results of these two approaches showed 100% consistency. Taken together, the ability of the 5-SSG primer assay to accurately detect key SARS-CoV-2 spike mutants is reliable. Thus, it is a useful tool for detecting SARS-CoV-2 spike gene mutants in a clinical setting, thereby helping to improve the management of patients with COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Mutation , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Sequence Analysis, RNA/methods , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , DNA Primers/genetics , High-Throughput Nucleotide Sequencing , Humans , Limit of Detection , Protein Domains , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry
9.
PLoS One ; 16(12): e0260487, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1581781

ABSTRACT

At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) designed, manufactured, and distributed the CDC 2019-Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) Real-Time RT-PCR Diagnostic Panel for SARS-CoV-2 detection. The diagnostic panel targeted three viral nucleocapsid gene loci (N1, N2, and N3 primers and probes) to maximize sensitivity and to provide redundancy for virus detection if mutations occurred. After the first distribution of the diagnostic panel, state public health laboratories reported fluorescent signal in the absence of viral template (false-positive reactivity) for the N3 component and to a lesser extent for N1. This report describes the findings of an internal investigation conducted by the CDC to identify the cause(s) of the N1 and N3 false-positive reactivity. For N1, results demonstrate that contamination with a synthetic template, that occurred while the "bulk" manufactured materials were located in a research lab for quality assessment, was the cause of false reactivity in the first lot. Base pairing between the 3' end of the N3 probe and the 3' end of the N3 reverse primer led to amplification of duplex and larger molecules resulting in false reactivity in the N3 assay component. We conclude that flaws in both assay design and handling of the "bulk" material, caused the problems with the first lot of the 2019-nCoV Real-Time RT-PCR Diagnostic Panel. In addition, within this study, we found that the age of the examined diagnostic panel reagents increases the frequency of false positive results for N3. We discuss these findings in the context of improvements to quality control, quality assurance, and assay validation practices that have since been improved at the CDC.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , DNA Primers , False Positive Reactions , Humans , Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction , SARS-CoV-2
10.
Nat Microbiol ; 7(1): 108-119, 2022 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1574813

ABSTRACT

The global spread and continued evolution of SARS-CoV-2 has driven an unprecedented surge in viral genomic surveillance. Amplicon-based sequencing methods provide a sensitive, low-cost and rapid approach but suffer a high potential for contamination, which can undermine laboratory processes and results. This challenge will increase with the expanding global production of sequences across a variety of laboratories for epidemiological and clinical interpretation, as well as for genomic surveillance of emerging diseases in future outbreaks. We present SDSI + AmpSeq, an approach that uses 96 synthetic DNA spike-ins (SDSIs) to track samples and detect inter-sample contamination throughout the sequencing workflow. We apply SDSIs to the ARTIC Consortium's amplicon design, demonstrate their utility and efficiency in a real-time investigation of a suspected hospital cluster of SARS-CoV-2 cases and validate them across 6,676 diagnostic samples at multiple laboratories. We establish that SDSI + AmpSeq provides increased confidence in genomic data by detecting and correcting for relatively common, yet previously unobserved modes of error, including spillover and sample swaps, without impacting genome recovery.


Subject(s)
DNA Primers/standards , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Sequence Analysis/standards , COVID-19/diagnosis , DNA Primers/chemical synthesis , Genome, Viral/genetics , Humans , Quality Control , RNA, Viral/genetics , Reproducibility of Results , Sequence Analysis/methods , Whole Genome Sequencing , Workflow
11.
Viruses ; 13(12)2021 12 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1572657

ABSTRACT

The current COVID-19 pandemic demands massive testing by Real-time RT-PCR (Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction), which is considered the gold standard diagnostic test for the detection of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. However, the virus continues to evolve with mutations that lead to phenotypic alterations as higher transmissibility, pathogenicity or vaccine evasion. Another big issue are mutations in the annealing sites of primers and probes of RT-PCR diagnostic kits leading to false-negative results. Therefore, here we identify mutations in the N (Nucleocapsid) gene that affects the use of the GeneFinder COVID-19 Plus RealAmp Kit. We sequenced SARS-CoV-2 genomes from 17 positive samples with no N gene detection but with RDRP (RNA-dependent RNA polymerase) and E (Envelope) genes detection, and observed a set of three different mutations affecting the N detection: a deletion of 18 nucleotides (Del28877-28894), a substitution of GGG to AAC (28881-28883) and a frameshift mutation caused by deletion (Del28877-28878). The last one cause a deletion of six AAs (amino acids) located in the central intrinsic disorder region at protein level. We also found this mutation in 99 of the 14,346 sequenced samples by the Sao Paulo state Network for Pandemic Alert of Emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants, demonstrating the circulation of the mutation in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Continuous monitoring and characterization of mutations affecting the annealing sites of primers and probes by genomic surveillance programs are necessary to maintain the effectiveness of the diagnosis of COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing , COVID-19/diagnosis , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Brazil/epidemiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , Coronavirus RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase/genetics , DNA Primers , False Negative Reactions , Genome, Viral/genetics , Humans , Mutation , Phosphoproteins/genetics , RNA, Viral/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics
12.
Exp Biol Med (Maywood) ; 247(3): 276-281, 2022 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1571696

ABSTRACT

The global SARS-CoV-2 pandemic requires a rapid, reliable, and user-friendly diagnostic test to help control the spread of the virus. Reverse transcription and quantitative PCR (RT-qPCR) is currently the gold standard method for SARS-CoV-2 detection. Here, we develop a protocol based on reverse transcription loop-mediated isothermal amplification (RT-LAMP) and demonstrate increased sensitivity of this technique using fresh RNA extracts compared to RNA samples subjected to freezing/thawing cycles. We further compare RT-LAMP to RT-qPCR and demonstrate that the RT-LAMP approach has high sensitivity in fresh RNA extracts and can detect positive samples with Ct values between 8 and 35.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing/methods , Molecular Diagnostic Techniques/methods , Nucleic Acid Amplification Techniques/methods , RNA, Viral/isolation & purification , Colorimetry/methods , DNA Primers , Humans , Nasopharynx/virology , Reverse Transcription , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Sensitivity and Specificity
13.
J Clin Lab Anal ; 36(1): e24137, 2022 Jan.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1549207

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has had a devastating impact on public health services worldwide. Currently, there are no standard remedies or therapies for COVID-19. it is important to identify and diagnose COVID-19 to control the spread. But clinical symptoms of COVID-19 are very similar to those of other respiratory viruses. RESULTS: As a result, the diagnosis of COVID-19 relies heavily on detecting pathogens. We established a bunch of triplex new TaqMan real-time PCR assays. Three sets of primers and probes (targeting the ORF1ab, N, and E genes, respectively) are poorly consistent with other human coronaviruses and the human influenza virus. The sensitivity of established PCR assays notices as few as 100 copies per PCR of the ORF1ab, N, and E genes. Meanwhile, standard curves concluded from constant PCR reaction all showed glorious linear correlations between Ct values and the polymer loading copy variety (correlation coefficient (R2 ) of ORF1ab, N, and E genes is 0.996, 0.991, and 0.998, respectively). Surveillance of RNA-based pseudovirus demonstrated that they were identified to be positive with respect to SARS-CoV-2 and that established PCR assays are achievable. CONCLUSION: The assays established provide a smaller reaction volume for diagnosing COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing/methods , Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction/methods , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , DNA Primers , Humans , RNA, Viral , Reproducibility of Results , Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction/methods , Sensitivity and Specificity
14.
Viruses ; 13(11)2021 10 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1538543

ABSTRACT

Epizootic haemorragic disease (EHD) is an important disease of white-tailed deer and can cause a bluetongue-like illness in cattle. A definitive diagnosis of EHD relies on molecular assays such as real-time RT-qPCR or conventional PCR. Reverse transcription loop-mediated isothermal amplification (RT-LAMP) is a cost-effective, specific, and sensitive technique that provides an alternative to RT-qPCR. We designed two sets of specific primers targeting segment-9 of the EHD virus genome to enable the detection of western and eastern topotypes, and evaluated their performance in singleplex and multiplex formats using cell culture isolates (n = 43), field specimens (n = 20), and a proficiency panel (n = 10). The limit of detection of the eastern and western RT-LAMP assays was estimated as ~24.36 CT and as ~29.37 CT in relation to real-time RT-qPCR, respectively, indicating a greater sensitivity of the western topotype singleplex RT-LAMP. The sensitivity of the western topotype RT-LAMP assay, relative to the RT-qPCR assay, was 72.2%, indicating that it could be theoretically used to detect viraemic cervines and bovines. For the first time, an RT-LAMP assay was developed for the rapid detection of the EHD virus that could be used as either a field test or high throughput screening tool in established laboratories to control the spread of EHD.


Subject(s)
Hemorrhagic Disease Virus, Epizootic/isolation & purification , Molecular Diagnostic Techniques/methods , Nucleic Acid Amplification Techniques/methods , Reoviridae Infections/diagnosis , Reoviridae Infections/virology , Animals , Bluetongue/virology , Cattle , DNA Primers/genetics , Deer , RNA, Viral/genetics , Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction , Reverse Transcription , Sensitivity and Specificity
15.
PLoS One ; 16(11): e0258263, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1511816

ABSTRACT

Clinical and surveillance testing for the SARS-CoV-2 virus relies overwhelmingly on RT-qPCR-based diagnostics, yet several popular assays require 2-3 separate reactions or rely on detection of a single viral target, which adds significant time, cost, and risk of false-negative results. Furthermore, multiplexed RT-qPCR tests that detect at least two SARS-CoV-2 genes in a single reaction are typically not affordable for large scale clinical surveillance or adaptable to multiple PCR machines and plate layouts. We developed a RT-qPCR assay using the Luna Probe Universal One-Step RT-qPCR master mix with publicly available primers and probes to detect SARS-CoV-2 N gene, E gene, and human RNase P (LuNER) to address these shortcomings and meet the testing demands of a university campus and the local community. This cost-effective test is compatible with BioRad or Applied Biosystems qPCR machines, in 96 and 384-well formats, with or without sample pooling, and has a detection sensitivity suitable for both clinical reporting and wastewater surveillance efforts.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/virology , Ribonuclease P/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Waste Water/virology , DNA Primers/genetics , Humans , RNA, Viral/genetics , Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction/methods , Sensitivity and Specificity , Specimen Handling/methods , Wastewater-Based Epidemiological Monitoring
16.
Sci Rep ; 11(1): 21658, 2021 11 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1503936

ABSTRACT

More than one year since Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic outbreak, the gold standard technique for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) detection is still the RT-qPCR. This is a limitation to increase testing capacities, particularly at developing countries, as expensive reagents and equipment are required. We developed a two steps end point RT-PCR reaction with SARS-CoV-2 Nucleocapsid (N) gene and Ribonuclease P (RNase P) specific primers where viral amplicons were verified by agarose gel electrophoresis. We carried out a clinical performance and analytical sensitivity evaluation for this two-steps end point RT-PCR method with 242 nasopharyngeal samples using the CDC RT-qPCR protocol as a gold standard technique. With a specificity of 95.8%, a sensitivity of 95.1%, and a limit of detection of 20 viral RNA copies/uL, this two steps end point RT-PCR assay is an affordable and reliable method for SARS-CoV-2 detection. This protocol would allow to extend COVID-19 diagnosis to basic molecular biology laboratories with a potential positive impact in surveillance programs at developing countries.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing/methods , COVID-19/diagnosis , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , COVID-19/genetics , COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing/economics , COVID-19 Testing/methods , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/genetics , DNA Primers , Electrophoresis, Agar Gel/methods , Humans , Laboratories , Nasopharynx/virology , RNA, Viral/genetics , Ribonuclease P/genetics , Ribonuclease P/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Sensitivity and Specificity
17.
Nucleic Acids Res ; 50(D1): D888-D897, 2022 01 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1462429

ABSTRACT

The genomic variations of SARS-CoV-2 continue to emerge and spread worldwide. Some mutant strains show increased transmissibility and virulence, which may cause reduced protection provided by vaccines. Thus, it is necessary to continuously monitor and analyze the genomic variations of SARS-COV-2 genomes. We established an evaluation and prewarning system, SARS-CoV-2 variations evaluation and prewarning system (VarEPS), including known and virtual mutations of SARS-CoV-2 genomes to achieve rapid evaluation of the risks posed by mutant strains. From the perspective of genomics and structural biology, the database comprehensively analyzes the effects of known variations and virtual variations on physicochemical properties, translation efficiency, secondary structure, and binding capacity of ACE2 and neutralizing antibodies. An AI-based algorithm was used to verify the effectiveness of these genomics and structural biology characteristic quantities for risk prediction. This classifier could be further used to group viral strains by their transmissibility and affinity to neutralizing antibodies. This unique resource makes it possible to quickly evaluate the variation risks of key sites, and guide the research and development of vaccines and drugs. The database is freely accessible at www.nmdc.cn/ncovn.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/virology , Databases, Factual , Mutation , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Algorithms , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Antibodies, Neutralizing/metabolism , Artificial Intelligence , DNA Primers , Genome, Viral , Humans
18.
Mol Biol Rep ; 48(11): 7243-7249, 2021 Nov.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1453812

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The new SARS-CoV-2 variant VOC (202012/01), identified recently in the United Kingdom (UK), exhibits a higher transmissibility rate compared to other variants, and a reproductive number 0.4 higher. In the UK, scientists were able to identify the increase of this new variant through the rise of false negative results for the spike (S) target using a three-target RT-PCR assay (TaqPath kit). METHODS: To control and study the current coronavirus pandemic, it is important to develop a rapid and low-cost molecular test to identify the aforementioned variant. In this work, we designed primer sets specific to the VOC (202012/01) to be used by SYBR Green-based RT-PCR. These primers were specifically designed to confirm the deletion mutations Δ69/Δ70 in the spike and the Δ106/Δ107/Δ108 in the NSP6 gene. We studied 20 samples from positive patients, detected by using the Applied Biosystems TaqPath RT-PCR COVID-19 kit (Thermo Fisher Scientific, Waltham, USA) that included the ORF1ab, S, and N gene targets. 16 samples displayed an S-negative profile (negative for S target and positive for N and ORF1ab targets) and four samples with S, N and ORF1ab positive profile. RESULTS: Our results emphasized that all S-negative samples harbored the mutations Δ69/Δ70 and Δ106/Δ107/Δ108. This protocol could be used as a second test to confirm the diagnosis in patients who were already positive to COVID-19 but showed false negative results for S-gene. CONCLUSIONS: This technique may allow to identify patients carrying the VOC (202012/01) or a closely related variant, in case of shortage in sequencing.


Subject(s)
Benzothiazoles , COVID-19/virology , Diamines , Fluorescent Dyes , Quinolines , Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction/methods , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , COVID-19/diagnosis , Costs and Cost Analysis , DNA Primers , Genome, Viral , Humans , Mutation , Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction/economics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Sensitivity and Specificity , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Time Factors
19.
Jpn J Infect Dis ; 74(5): 465-472, 2021 Sep 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1436361

ABSTRACT

Soon after the 2019 outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 in Wuhan, China, a protocol for real-time RT-PCR assay detection of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) was established by the National Institute of Infectious Diseases (NIID) in Japan. The protocol used Charité's nucleocapsid (Sarbeco-N) and NIID nucleocapsid (NIID-N2) assays. During the following months, SARS-CoV-2 spread and caused a global pandemic, and various SARS-CoV-2 sequences were registered in public databases, such as the Global Initiative on Sharing All Influenza Data (GISAID). In this study, we evaluated the S2 assay (NIID-S2) that was newly developed to replace the Sarbeco-N assay and the performance of the NIID-N2 and NIID-S2 assays, referring to mismatches in the primer/probe targeted region. We found that the analytical sensitivity and specificity of the NIID-S2 set were comparable to those of the NIID-N2 assay, and the detection rate for clinical specimens was identical to that of the NIID-N2 assay. Furthermore, among the available sequences (approximately 192,000), the NIID-N2 and NIID-S2 sets had 2.6% and 1.2% mismatched sequences, respectively, although most of these mismatches did not affect the amplification efficiency, except the 3' end of the NIID-N2 forward primer. These findings indicate that the previously developed NIID-N2 assay is suitable for the detection of SARS-CoV-2 with support from the newly developed NIID-S2 set.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing/methods , COVID-19/diagnosis , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/genetics , DNA Primers/genetics , Humans , Japan , Phosphoproteins/genetics , RNA, Viral/analysis , RNA, Viral/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Sensitivity and Specificity , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics
20.
PLoS One ; 16(9): e0257350, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1435609

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 has spread worldwide and has become a global health problem. As a result, the demand for inputs for diagnostic tests rose dramatically, as did the cost. Countries with inadequate infrastructure experience difficulties in expanding their qPCR testing capacity. Therefore, the development of sensitive and specific alternative methods is essential. This study aimed to develop, standardize, optimize, and validate conventional RT-PCR targeting the N gene of SARS-CoV-2 in naso-oropharyngeal swab samples compared to qPCR. Using bioinformatics tools, specific primers were determined, with a product expected to be 519 bp. The reaction conditions were optimized using a commercial positive control, and the detection limit was determined to be 100 fragments. To validate conventional RT-PCR, we determined a representative sampling of 346 samples from patients with suspected infection whose diagnosis was made in parallel with qPCR. A sensitivity of 92.1% and specificity of 100% were verified, with an accuracy of 95.66% and correlation coefficient of 0.913. Under current Brazilian conditions, this method generates approximately 60% savings compared to qPCR costs. Conventional RT-PCR, validated herein, showed sufficient results for the detection of SARS-CoV-2 and can be used as an alternative for epidemiological studies and interspecies correlations.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing/methods , COVID-19/diagnosis , Nose/virology , Nucleocapsid Proteins/genetics , Oropharynx/virology , Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction/methods , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Adolescent , Brazil , COVID-19/virology , DNA Primers/genetics , Female , Humans , Male , Molecular Diagnostic Techniques/methods , RNA, Viral/genetics , Reference Standards , Sensitivity and Specificity , Specimen Handling/methods
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