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1.
Genes (Basel) ; 11(6)2020 06 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-612515

ABSTRACT

There is an ongoing worldwide coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). At present, confirmatory diagnosis is by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), typically taking several hours and requiring a molecular laboratory to perform. There is an urgent need for rapid, simplified, and cost-effective detection methods. We have developed and analytically validated a protocol for direct rapid extraction-free PCR (DIRECT-PCR) detection of SARS-CoV-2 without the need for nucleic acid purification. As few as six RNA copies per reaction of viral nucleocapsid (N) gene from respiratory samples such as sputum and nasal exudate can be detected directly using our one-step inhibitor-resistant assay. The performance of this assay was validated on a commercially available portable PCR thermocycler. Viral lysis, reverse transcription, amplification, and detection are achieved in a single-tube homogeneous reaction within 36 min. This minimizes hands-on time, reduces turnaround-time for sample-to-result, and obviates the need for RNA purification reagents. It could enable wider use of Covid-19 testing for diagnosis, screening, and research in countries and regions where laboratory capabilities are limiting.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/genetics , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Polymerase Chain Reaction/methods , RNA, Viral/analysis , Betacoronavirus/isolation & purification , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Exudates and Transudates/virology , Humans , Limit of Detection , Nucleocapsid/genetics , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Point-of-Care Systems , Sputum/virology
2.
Emerg Microbes Infect ; 9(1): 1489-1496, 2020 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-599991

ABSTRACT

In December 2019, Wuhan, China suffered a serious outbreak of a novel coronavirus infectious disease (COVID) caused by novel severe acute respiratory syndrome-related coronavirus (SARS-CoV 2). To quickly identify the pathogen, we designed and screened primer sets, and established a sensitive and specific qRT-PCR assay for SARS-CoV 2; the lower limit of detection (LOD) was 14.8 (95% CI: 9.8-21) copies per reaction. We combined this qRT-PCR assay with an automatic integration system for nucleic acid extraction and amplification, thereby establishing an automatic integrated gene detection system (AIGS) for SARS-CoV 2. Cross reactive analysis performed in 20 other respiratory viruses and 37 nasopharyngeal swabs confirmed a 100% specificity of the assay. Using two fold diluted SARS-CoV 2 culture, the LOD of AIGS was confirmed to be 365 copies/ml (95% CI: 351-375), which was Comparable to that of conventional q RT-PCR (740 copies/ml, 95% CI: 689-750). Clinical performances of AIGS assay were assessed in 266 suspected COVID-19 clinical respiratory tract samples tested in parallel with a commercial kit. The clinical sensitivity of the AIGS test was 97.62% (95% CI: 0.9320-0.9951) based on the commercial kit test result, and concordance analysis showed a high agreement in SARS-CoV-2 detection between the two assays, Pearson R was 0.9623 (95% CI: 0.9523-0.9703). The results indicated that this AIGS could be used for rapid detection of SARS-CoV 2. With the advantage of simple operation and less time consuming, AIGS could be suitable for SARS-CoV2 detection in primary medical institutions, thus would do a great help to improve detection efficiency and control the spread of COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/isolation & purification , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction/methods , Automation, Laboratory , China , DNA Primers , Humans , Limit of Detection , Pandemics , RNA, Viral/analysis , Sensitivity and Specificity , Virus Cultivation
3.
Sensors (Basel) ; 20(11)2020 May 31.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-437172

ABSTRACT

One of the key challenges of the recent COVID-19 pandemic is the ability to accurately estimate the number of infected individuals, particularly asymptomatic and/or early-stage patients. We herewith report the proof-of-concept development of a biosensor able to detect the SARS-CoV-2 S1 spike protein expressed on the surface of the virus. The biosensor is based on membrane-engineered mammalian cells bearing the human chimeric spike S1 antibody. We demonstrate that the attachment of the protein to the membrane-bound antibodies resulted in a selective and considerable change in the cellular bioelectric properties measured by means of a Bioelectric Recognition Assay. The novel biosensor provided results in an ultra-rapid manner (3 min), with a detection limit of 1 fg/mL and a semi-linear range of response between 10 fg and 1 µg/mL. In addition, no cross-reactivity was observed against the SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapsid protein. Furthermore, the biosensor was configured as a ready-to-use platform, including a portable read-out device operated via smartphone/tablet. In this way, we demonstrate that the novel biosensor can be potentially applied for the mass screening of SARS-CoV-2 surface antigens without prior sample processing, therefore offering a possible solution for the timely monitoring and eventual control of the global coronavirus pandemic.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/isolation & purification , Biosensing Techniques , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/isolation & purification , Antibodies, Viral/chemistry , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Antigens, Viral/genetics , Antigens, Viral/isolation & purification , Betacoronavirus/pathogenicity , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Humans , Limit of Detection , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Smartphone , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry
4.
Clin Chem Lab Med ; 58(8): 1357-1364, 2020 Jul 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-345901

ABSTRACT

Objectives Faced with the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on the availability and quality of both therapeutic and diagnostic methods, the Belgian authorities have decided to launch a procedure for additional evaluation of the performance of serological tests offered for sale on the national territory. This has been proposed with a double aim: (1) an in-depth verification of the analytical and clinical performances presented by the manufacturer and (2) an economy of scale in terms of centralized validation for all the laboratories using the tests subject to evaluation. Methods A retrospective validation study was conducted including the serum of 125 patients in order to determine the analytical and clinical performances of the LIAISON®SARS-CoV-2 from DiaSorin® detecting anti-SARS-CoV-2 IgG and to compare its clinical performance with the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) test from Euroimmun®, one of the first commercially available tests allowing the detection of anti-SARS-CoV-2 IgA and IgG. Results The performances of the LIAISON®SARS-CoV-2 satisfied all the acceptance criteria and provided "real world" analytical and clinical performances very close to the ones reported by the manufacturer in its insert kit. Comparison between the LIAISON®SARS-CoV-2 and the ELISA method did not reveal any difference between the two techniques in terms of sensitivities and specificities regarding the determination of the IgG. Conclusions This study reports the validation of the LIAISON®SARS-CoV-2 allowing to detect IgG antibodies specifically directed against SARS-CoV-2. The analytical and clinical performances are excellent, and the automation of the test offers important rates, ideal for absorbing an extension of testing.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Betacoronavirus/immunology , Clinical Laboratory Techniques/methods , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Immunoassay/methods , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Humans , Limit of Detection , Luminescence , Luminescent Measurements/methods , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/immunology , Reproducibility of Results , Retrospective Studies
5.
Emerg Microbes Infect ; 9(1): 1259-1268, 2020 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-342833

ABSTRACT

Quantitative real time PCR (RT-PCR) is widely used as the gold standard for clinical detection of SARS-CoV-2. However, due to the low viral load specimens and the limitations of RT-PCR, significant numbers of false negative reports are inevitable, which results in failure to timely diagnose, cut off transmission, and assess discharge criteria. To improve this situation, an optimized droplet digital PCR (ddPCR) was used for detection of SARS-CoV-2, which showed that the limit of detection of ddPCR is significantly lower than that of RT-PCR. We further explored the feasibility of ddPCR to detect SARS-CoV-2 RNA from 77 patients, and compared with RT-PCR in terms of the diagnostic accuracy based on the results of follow-up survey. 26 patients of COVID-19 with negative RT-PCR reports were reported as positive by ddPCR. The sensitivity, specificity, PPV, NPV, negative likelihood ratio (NLR) and accuracy were improved from 40% (95% CI: 27-55%), 100% (95% CI: 54-100%), 100%, 16% (95% CI: 13-19%), 0.6 (95% CI: 0.48-0.75) and 47% (95% CI: 33-60%) for RT-PCR to 94% (95% CI: 83-99%), 100% (95% CI: 48-100%), 100%, 63% (95% CI: 36-83%), 0.06 (95% CI: 0.02-0.18), and 95% (95% CI: 84-99%) for ddPCR, respectively. Moreover, 6/14 (42.9%) convalescents were detected as positive by ddPCR at 5-12 days post discharge. Overall, ddPCR shows superiority for clinical diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2 to reduce the false negative reports, which could be a powerful complement to the RT-PCR.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/genetics , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction/methods , False Negative Reactions , Humans , Limit of Detection , Pandemics , RNA, Viral/genetics , Viral Load/methods
7.
Emerg Infect Dis ; 26(8)2020 Aug.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-245493

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) was identified as the etiologic agent associated with coronavirus disease, which emerged in late 2019. In response, we developed a diagnostic panel consisting of 3 real-time reverse transcription PCR assays targeting the nucleocapsid gene and evaluated use of these assays for detecting SARS-CoV-2 infection. All assays demonstrated a linear dynamic range of 8 orders of magnitude and an analytical limit of detection of 5 copies/reaction of quantified RNA transcripts and 1 x 10-1.5 50% tissue culture infectious dose/mL of cell-cultured SARS-CoV-2. All assays performed comparably with nasopharyngeal and oropharyngeal secretions, serum, and fecal specimens spiked with cultured virus. We obtained no false-positive amplifications with other human coronaviruses or common respiratory pathogens. Results from all 3 assays were highly correlated during clinical specimen testing. On February 4, 2020, the Food and Drug Administration issued an Emergency Use Authorization to enable emergency use of this panel.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/genetics , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Nucleocapsid Proteins/genetics , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , RNA, Viral/genetics , Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction/methods , Biomarkers/analysis , Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S. , Coronavirus Infections/virology , DNA Primers/chemical synthesis , DNA Primers/genetics , Feces/virology , Fluoresceins/chemistry , Fluorescent Dyes/chemistry , Humans , Limit of Detection , Nasopharynx/virology , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction/standards , Reproducibility of Results , Sputum/virology , United States
9.
J Clin Virol ; 128: 104416, 2020 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-165281

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: So far, one of the major drawbacks of the available molecular assays for the diagnosis of severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) is the need for viral nucleic acid extraction from clinical specimens. OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to evaluate the performances of a newly designed real-time RT-PCR (Simplexa™ COVID-19 Direct assay), that is established with an all-in-one reagent mix and no separate extraction required. RESULTS: The lower limit of detection (LOD) for both target genes resulted the same: 3.2 (CI: 2.9-3.8) log10 cp/mL and 0.40 (CI: 0.2-1.5) TCID50/mL for S gene while 3.2 log10 (CI: 2.9-3.7) log10 cp/mL and 0.4 (CI: 0.2-1.3) TCID50/mL for ORF1ab. The LOD obtained with extracted viral RNA for both S gene or ORF1ab was 2.7 log10 cp/mL. Crossreactive analysis performed in 20 nasopharyngeal swabs confirmed a 100% of clinical specificity of the assay. Clinical performances of Simplexa™ COVID-19 Direct assay were assessed in 278 nasopharyngeal swabs tested in parallel with Corman's method. Concordance analysis showed an "almost perfect" agreement in SARS-CoV-2 RNA detection between the two assays, being κ = 0.938; SE = 0.021; 95% CI = 0.896-0.980. CONCLUSIONS: The high sensitivity and specificity of this new assay indicate that it is promising for laboratory diagnosis, enabling highspeed detection in just over one hour, which is significantly faster than the up to five hours currently required by traditional extraction followed by amplification technologies, thus allowing prompt decision making regarding isolation of infected patients.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/immunology , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Betacoronavirus/isolation & purification , Clinical Laboratory Techniques , Diagnostic Tests, Routine , Humans , Limit of Detection , Pandemics , RNA, Viral/analysis , Sensitivity and Specificity
11.
Emerg Microbes Infect ; 9(1): 998-1007, 2020 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-88525

ABSTRACT

The previous outbreaks of SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV have led researchers to study the role of diagnostics in impediment of further spread and transmission. With the recent emergence of the novel SARS-CoV-2, the availability of rapid, sensitive, and reliable diagnostic methods is essential for disease control. Hence, we have developed a reverse transcription loop-mediated isothermal amplification (RT-LAMP) assay for the specific detection of SARS-CoV-2. The primer sets for RT-LAMP assay were designed to target the nucleocapsid gene of the viral RNA, and displayed a detection limit of 102 RNA copies close to that of qRT-PCR. Notably, the assay has exhibited a rapid detection span of 30 min combined with the colorimetric visualization. This test can detect specifically viral RNAs of the SARS-CoV-2 with no cross-reactivity to related coronaviruses, such as HCoV-229E, HCoV-NL63, HCoV-OC43, and MERS-CoV as well as human infectious influenza viruses (type B, H1N1pdm, H3N2, H5N1, H5N6, H5N8, and H7N9), and other respiratory disease-causing viruses (RSVA, RSVB, ADV, PIV, MPV, and HRV). Furthermore, the developed RT-LAMP assay has been evaluated using specimens collected from COVID-19 patients that exhibited high agreement to the qRT-PCR. Our RT-LAMP assay is simple to perform, less expensive, time-efficient, and can be used in clinical laboratories for preliminary detection of SARS-CoV-2 in suspected patients. In addition to the high sensitivity and specificity, this isothermal amplification conjugated with a single-tube colorimetric detection method may contribute to the public health responses and disease control, especially in the areas with limited laboratory capacities.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Nucleic Acid Amplification Techniques/methods , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Betacoronavirus/genetics , Betacoronavirus/isolation & purification , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Humans , Limit of Detection , Nucleic Acid Amplification Techniques/economics , Nucleic Acid Amplification Techniques/standards , Nucleocapsid Proteins/genetics , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Time Factors
13.
Emerg Microbes Infect ; 9(1): 680-686, 2020 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-13830

ABSTRACT

Pseudoviruses are useful virological tools because of their safety and versatility, especially for emerging and re-emerging viruses. Due to its high pathogenicity and infectivity and the lack of effective vaccines and therapeutics, live SARS-CoV-2 has to be handled under biosafety level 3 conditions, which has hindered the development of vaccines and therapeutics. Based on a VSV pseudovirus production system, a pseudovirus-based neutralization assay has been developed for evaluating neutralizing antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 in biosafety level 2 facilities. The key parameters for this assay were optimized, including cell types, cell numbers, virus inoculum. When tested against the SARS-CoV-2 pseudovirus, SARS-CoV-2 convalescent patient sera showed high neutralizing potency, which underscore its potential as therapeutics. The limit of detection for this assay was determined as 22.1 and 43.2 for human and mouse serum samples respectively using a panel of 120 negative samples. The cutoff values were set as 30 and 50 for human and mouse serum samples, respectively. This assay showed relatively low coefficient of variations with 15.9% and 16.2% for the intra- and inter-assay analyses respectively. Taken together, we established a robust pseudovirus-based neutralization assay for SARS-CoV-2 and are glad to share pseudoviruses and related protocols with the developers of vaccines or therapeutics to fight against this lethal virus.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Betacoronavirus/immunology , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Immune Sera/immunology , Neutralization Tests , Pneumonia, Viral/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Animals , Cell Line , Coronavirus Infections/therapy , Humans , Immunization, Passive , Limit of Detection , Membrane Glycoproteins/immunology , Mice , Plasmids , Reproducibility of Results , Sensitivity and Specificity , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Vesicular stomatitis Indiana virus/genetics , Viral Envelope Proteins/immunology , Virus Internalization
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