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1.
PLoS One ; 16(4): e0250942, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1207642

ABSTRACT

The outbreak of the new human coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 (also known as 2019-nCoV) continues to increase globally. The real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (rRT-PCR) is the most used technique in virus detection. However, possible false-negative and false-positive results produce misleading consequences, making it necessary to improve existing methods. Here, we developed a multiplex rRT-PCR diagnostic method, which targets two viral genes (RdRP and E) and one human gene (RP) simultaneously. The reaction was tested by using pseudoviral RNA and human target mRNA sequences as a template. Also, the protocol was validated by using 14 clinical SARS-CoV-2 positive samples. The results are in good agreement with the CDC authorized Cepheid`s Xpert® Xpress SARS-CoV-2 diagnostic system (100%). Unlike single gene targeting strategies, the current method provides the amplification of two viral regions in the same PCR reaction. Therefore, an accurate SARS-CoV-2 diagnostic assay was provided, which allows testing of 91 samples in 96-well plates in per run. Thanks to this strategy, fast, reliable, and easy-to-use rRT-PCR method is obtained to diagnose SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
/methods , Multiplex Polymerase Chain Reaction/methods , RNA, Viral/genetics , /genetics , /virology , Humans , Limit of Detection , Multiplex Polymerase Chain Reaction/standards , RNA, Viral/analysis , Sensitivity and Specificity
2.
Anal Chem ; 93(9): 4160-4165, 2021 03 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1104409

ABSTRACT

The rapid onset of the global COVID-19 pandemic has led to challenges for accurately diagnosing the disease, including supply shortages for sample collection, preservation, and purification. Currently, most diagnostic tests require RNA extraction and detection by RT-PCR; however, extraction is expensive and time-consuming and requires technical expertise. With these challenges in mind, we report extraction-free, multiplexed amplification of SARS-CoV-2 RNA from 246 clinical samples, resulting in 86% sensitivity and 100% specificity. The multiplex RT-PCR uses the CDC singleplex targets and has an LoD of 2 c/µL. We also report on amplification using a range of master mixes in different transport media. This work can help guide which combinations of reagents will enable accurate results when availability of supplies changes throughout the pandemic. Implementing these methods can reduce complexity and cost, minimize reagent usage, expedite time to results, and increase testing capacity.


Subject(s)
/methods , /virology , Multiplex Polymerase Chain Reaction/methods , /isolation & purification , Humans , RNA, Viral/genetics , Sensitivity and Specificity
3.
Anal Chem ; 93(9): 4208-4216, 2021 03 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1101611

ABSTRACT

The gold standard of molecular pathogen detection is the quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR). Modern qPCR instruments are capable of detecting 4-6 analytes in a single sample: one per optical detection channel. However, many clinical applications require multiplexing beyond this traditional single-well capacity, including the task of simultaneously testing for SARS-CoV-2 and other respiratory pathogens. This can be addressed by dividing a sample across multiple wells, or using technologies such as genomic sequencing and spatial arrays, but at the expense of significantly higher cost and lower throughput compared with single-well qPCR. These trade-offs represent unacceptable compromises in high-throughput screening scenarios such as SARS-CoV-2 testing. We demonstrate a novel method of detecting up to 20 targets per well with standard qPCR instrumentation: high-definition PCR (HDPCR). HDPCR combines TaqMan chemistry and familiar workflows with robust encoding to enable far higher levels of multiplexing on a traditional qPCR system without an increase in cost or reduction in throughput. We utilize HDPCR with a custom 20-Plex assay, an 8-Plex assay using unmodified predesigned single-plex assays from Integrated DNA Technologies and a 9-Plex pathogen panel inclusive of SARS-CoV-2 and other common respiratory viruses. All three assays were successful when tested on a variety of samples, with overall sample accuracies of 98.8, 98.3, and 100%, respectively. The HDPCR technology enables the large install base of qPCR instrumentation to perform mid-density multiplex diagnostics without modification to instrumentation or workflow, meeting the urgent need for increased diagnostic yield at an affordable price without sacrificing assay performance.


Subject(s)
/methods , /virology , Multiplex Polymerase Chain Reaction/methods , /isolation & purification , DNA, Viral/genetics , Humans , Sensitivity and Specificity
4.
PLoS One ; 16(2): e0243183, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1097207

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Sensitive and high throughput molecular detection assays are essential during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The vast majority of the SARS-CoV-2 molecular assays use nasopharyngeal swab (NPS) or oropharyngeal swab (OPS) specimens collected from suspected individuals. However, using NPS or OPS as specimens has apparent drawbacks, e.g. the collection procedures for NPS or OPS specimens can be uncomfortable to some people and may cause sneezing and coughing which in turn generate droplets and/or aerosol particles that are of risk to healthcare workers, requiring heavy use of personal protective equipment. There have been recent studies indicating that self-collected saliva specimens can be used for molecular detection of SARS-CoV-2 and provides more comfort and ease of use for the patients. Here we report the performance of QuantiVirus™ SARS-CoV-2 test using saliva as the testing specimens with or without pooling. METHODS: Development and validation studies were conducted following FDA-EUA and molecular assay validation guidelines. Using SeraCare Accuplex SARS-CoV-2 reference panel, the limit of detection (LOD) and clinical performance studies were performed with the QuantiVirus™ SARS-CoV-2 test. For clinical evaluation, 85 known positive and 90 known negative clinical NPS samples were tested. Additionally, twenty paired NPS and saliva samples collected from recovering COVID-19 patients were tested and the results were further compared to that of the Abbott m2000 SARS-CoV-2 PCR assay. Results of community collected 389 saliva samples for COVID-19 screening by QuantiVirus™ SARS-CoV-2 test were also obtained and analyzed. Additionally, testing of pooled saliva samples was evaluated. RESULTS: The LOD for the QuantiVirus™ SARS-CoV-2 test was confirmed to be 100-200 copies/mL. The clinical performance studies using contrived saliva samples indicated that the positive percentage agreement (PPA) of the QuantiVirus™ SARS-CoV-2 test is 100% at 1xLOD, 1.5xLOD and 2.5xLOD. No cross-reactivity was observed for the QuantiVirus™ SARS-CoV-2 test with common respiratory pathogens. Testing of clinical samples showed a positive percentage agreement (PPA) of 100% (95% CI: 94.6% to 100%) and a negative percentage agreement (NPA) of 98.9% (95% CI: 93.1% to 99.9%). QuantiVirus™ SARS CoV-2 test had 80% concordance rate and no significant difference (p = 0.13) between paired saliva and NPS specimens by Wilcoxon matched pairs signed rank test. Positive test rate was 1.79% for 389 saliva specimens collected from local communities for COVID-19 screening. Preliminary data showed that saliva sample pooling up to 6 samples (1:6 pooling) for SARS-CoV-2 detection is feasible (sensitivity 94.8% and specificity 100%). CONCLUSION: The studies demonstrated that the QuantiVirus™ SARS-CoV-2 test has a LOD of 200 copies/mL in contrived saliva samples. The clinical performance of saliva-based testing is comparable to that of NPS-based testing. Pooling of saliva specimens for SARS-CoV-2 detection is feasible. Saliva based and high-throughput QuantiVirus™ SARS-CoV-2 test offers a highly desirable testing platform during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.


Subject(s)
Multiplex Polymerase Chain Reaction/methods , Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction/methods , Saliva/virology , Specimen Handling/methods , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Young Adult
5.
PLoS One ; 16(2): e0247115, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1088764

ABSTRACT

The rapid emergence of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) as a global pandemic affecting millions of individuals globally has necessitated sensitive and high-throughput approaches for the diagnosis, surveillance, and determining the genetic epidemiology of SARS-CoV-2. In the present study, we used the COVIDSeq protocol, which involves multiplex-PCR, barcoding, and sequencing of samples for high-throughput detection and deciphering the genetic epidemiology of SARS-CoV-2. We used the approach on 752 clinical samples in duplicates, amounting to a total of 1536 samples which could be sequenced on a single S4 sequencing flow cell on NovaSeq 6000. Our analysis suggests a high concordance between technical duplicates and a high concordance of detection of SARS-CoV-2 between the COVIDSeq as well as RT-PCR approaches. An in-depth analysis revealed a total of six samples in which COVIDSeq detected SARS-CoV-2 in high confidence which were negative in RT-PCR. Additionally, the assay could detect SARS-CoV-2 in 21 samples and 16 samples which were classified inconclusive and pan-sarbeco positive respectively suggesting that COVIDSeq could be used as a confirmatory test. The sequencing approach also enabled insights into the evolution and genetic epidemiology of the SARS-CoV-2 samples. The samples were classified into a total of 3 clades. This study reports two lineages B.1.112 and B.1.99 for the first time in India. This study also revealed 1,143 unique single nucleotide variants and added a total of 73 novel variants identified for the first time. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report of the COVIDSeq approach for detection and genetic epidemiology of SARS-CoV-2. Our analysis suggests that COVIDSeq could be a potential high sensitivity assay for the detection of SARS-CoV-2, with an additional advantage of enabling the genetic epidemiology of SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
/epidemiology , High-Throughput Nucleotide Sequencing/methods , /isolation & purification , /genetics , Genome, Viral/genetics , Humans , India/epidemiology , Molecular Epidemiology/methods , Multiplex Polymerase Chain Reaction/methods , Pandemics , Phylogeny , RNA, Viral/genetics , RNA, Viral/isolation & purification , Sensitivity and Specificity
6.
Biosens Bioelectron ; 178: 113041, 2021 Apr 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1051492

ABSTRACT

The outbreak of COVID-19 caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has been challenging human health worldwide. Loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) has been promptly applied to the detection of SARS-CoV-2 owing to its high amplification efficacy and less requirement of the thermal cycler. However, the vast majority of these LAMP-based assays depend on the non-specific detection of LAMP products, which can not discern the undesirable amplificons, likely to yield unreliable results. Herein, a sequence-specific LAMP assay was reported to detect SARS-CoV-2 using proofreading enzyme-mediated probe cleavage (named Proofman), which could realize real-time and visual detection without uncapping. This assay, introducing a proofreading enzyme and the fluorogenic probe to reverse-transcription LAMP (RT-Proofman-LAMP), can specifically detect the SARS-CoV-2 RNA with a detection limit of 100 copies. In addition to the real-time analysis, the assay is capable of endpoint visualization under a transilluminator within 50 min, providing a convenient reporting manner under the setting of point-of-care testing (POCT). In combination with different fluorophores, the one-pot multiplex assay was successfully achieved to detect multiple targets of SARS-CoV-2 and inner control simultaneously. In summary, the development of RT-Proofman-LAMP offers a versatile and highly-specific method for fast field screening and laboratory testing of SARS-CoV-2, making it a promising platform in COVID-19 diagnosis.


Subject(s)
/methods , /virology , Molecular Diagnostic Techniques/methods , Nucleic Acid Amplification Techniques/methods , /isolation & purification , Biosensing Techniques/methods , Biosensing Techniques/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Limit of Detection , Molecular Diagnostic Techniques/statistics & numerical data , Multiplex Polymerase Chain Reaction/methods , Multiplex Polymerase Chain Reaction/statistics & numerical data , Nucleic Acid Amplification Techniques/statistics & numerical data , Pandemics , Point-of-Care Systems/statistics & numerical data , RNA, Viral/analysis , RNA, Viral/genetics , Sensitivity and Specificity
7.
J Clin Virol ; 135: 104737, 2021 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1033542

ABSTRACT

The GenMark Dx ePlex Respiratory Pathogen Panel (RP) is a multiplexed nucleic acid test for the qualitative detection of common viral and a few bacterial causes of respiratory tract infections. The ePlex RP has received FDA clearance for nasopharyngeal swab (NPS) specimens collected in viral transport media. In this study, we evaluated the performance of the ePlex RP panel in comparison to the NxTAG Respiratory Pathogen Panel (NxTAG-RPP) from Luminex in use in our laboratory, not only for NPS but also for bronchoalveolar lavage specimens (BAL). We also evaluated the impact of implementing the ePlex RP on the test turn-around time (TAT). The newest panel from GenMark Dx, the ePlex Respiratory Pathogen Panel 2 (RP2), which added the SARS-CoV-2 target to the RP was also evaluated for NPS. Verification of the performance of the ePlex RP for both NPS and BAL showed 93.3 % and 84.9 % total agreement with the NxTAG-RPP respectively. An overall comparison of the TAT after implementing the ePlex RP as compared to the NxTAG-RPP assay showed an average decrease of almost seven-fold.


Subject(s)
Diagnostic Tests, Routine/methods , Molecular Diagnostic Techniques/methods , Multiplex Polymerase Chain Reaction/methods , Respiratory Tract Infections/diagnosis , Bronchoalveolar Lavage/methods , Humans , Nasopharynx/microbiology , Nasopharynx/virology , Respiratory Tract Infections/microbiology , Respiratory Tract Infections/virology , /genetics
8.
Diagn Microbiol Infect Dis ; 99(1): 115183, 2021 Jan.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1023526

ABSTRACT

The FilmArray® Pneumonia Plus (FA-PP) panel can provide rapid identifications and semiquantitative results for many pathogens. We performed a prospective single-center study in 43 critically ill patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in which we performed 96 FA-PP tests and cultures of blind bronchoalveolar lavage (BBAL). FA-PP detected 1 or more pathogens in 32% (31/96 of samples), whereas culture methods detected at least 1 pathogen in 35% (34/96 of samples). The most prevalent bacteria detected were Pseudomonas aeruginosa (n = 14) and Staphylococcus aureus (n = 11) on both FA-PP and culture. The FA-PP results from BBAL in critically ill patients with COVID-19 were consistent with bacterial culture findings for bacteria present in the FA-PP panel, showing sensitivity, specificity, and positive and negative predictive value of 95%, 99%, 82%, and 100%, respectively. Median turnaround time for FA-PP was 5.5 h, which was significantly shorter than for standard culture (26 h) and antimicrobial susceptibility testing results (57 h).


Subject(s)
Bacteria/isolation & purification , Bacteriological Techniques/methods , Multiplex Polymerase Chain Reaction/methods , Pneumonia, Bacterial/diagnosis , Aged , Bacteria/classification , Bacteria/genetics , Bronchoalveolar Lavage Fluid/microbiology , Critical Illness , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Pneumonia, Bacterial/microbiology , Sensitivity and Specificity , Time Factors
9.
Emerg Microbes Infect ; 10(1): 161-166, 2021 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1012801

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 has spread rapidly, causing deaths worldwide. In this study, we evaluated the performance of the BD MAX Open System module for identifying viral pathogens, including SARS-CoV-2, in nasopharyngeal specimens from individuals with symptoms of upper respiratory tract infection. We developed and validated a rapid total nucleic acid extraction method based on real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) for the reliable, high-throughput simultaneous detection of common cold viral pathogens using the BD MAX Platform. The system was evaluated using 205 nasopharyngeal swab clinical samples. For assessment of the limit of detection (LoD), we used SARS-CoV-2, influenza A/B, and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) RNA standards. The BD MAX dual multiplex real-time RT-PCR panel demonstrated a sensitivity comparable to that of the World Health Organization-recommended SARS-CoV-2 assay with an LoD of 50 copies/PCR. The LoD of influenza A/B and RSV was 100-200 copies/PCR. The overall percent agreement between the BD MAX panel and laboratory-developed RT-PCR test on 55 SARS-CoV-2-positive clinical samples was 100%. Among the 55 positive cases of COVID-19 analysed, no coinfection was detected. The BD MAX rapid multiplex PCR provides a highly sensitive, robust, and accurate assay for the rapid detection of SARS-CoV-2, influenza A/B, and RSV.


Subject(s)
/diagnosis , Influenza, Human/diagnosis , Polymerase Chain Reaction/methods , Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infections/diagnosis , /genetics , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Coinfection/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Multiplex Polymerase Chain Reaction/methods , Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction/methods , Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction/methods , Young Adult
10.
Expert Rev Mol Diagn ; 21(1): 119-129, 2021 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1003446

ABSTRACT

Introduction: With the ongoing SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, different articles have been published highlighting the superiority of droplet digital PCR (ddPCR) over the gold-standard reverse transcription PCR (RT-PCR) in SARS-CoV-2 detection. However, few studies have been reported on developing multiplex ddPCR assays for SARS-CoV-2 detection and their performance. This study shows steps on how to develop different ddPCR SAR-CoV-2 assays including higher order multiplex assays for SARS-CoV-2 detection and antiviral screening.Methods: Using multiple primer/probe sets, we developed, optimized, and analyzed the performance of simplex (1 target), duplex (2 targets), triplex probe mix (3 targets), and quadruplex (4 targets) SARS-CoV-2 ddPCR assays based on a two-color ddPCR detection system.Results: Results showed that the quadruplex assay had similar limits of detection and accuracy to the lower multiplex assays. Analyzing 94 clinical samples demonstrated that the ddPCR triplex probe mix assay had better sensitivity than the RT-qPCR assay. Additionally, the ddPCR multiplex assay showed that remdesivir could inhibit the growth of SARS-CoV-2 in vitro while another testing drug could not.Conclusion: Our research shows that developing multiplex ddPCR assays is possible by combing probe mix and amplitude-based multiplexing, which will help in developing multiplexed ddPCR assays for different SARS-CoV-2 applications.


Subject(s)
/diagnosis , Multiplex Polymerase Chain Reaction/methods , /isolation & purification , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , DNA Primers/genetics , False Positive Reactions , Humans , Limit of Detection , Pandemics , RNA, Viral/isolation & purification , Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction/methods , Reproducibility of Results , Sensitivity and Specificity , Temperature , Viral Load/methods
11.
Sci Rep ; 10(1): 18764, 2020 10 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-894422

ABSTRACT

Droplet digital PCR (ddPCR) is a sensitive and reproducible technology widely used for quantitation of several viruses. The aim of this study was to evaluate the 2019-nCoV CDC ddPCR Triplex Probe Assay (BioRad) performance, comparing the direct quantitation of SARS-CoV-2 on nasopharyngeal swab with the procedure applied to the extracted RNA. Moreover, two widely used swab types were compared (UTM 3 mL and ESwab 1 mL, COPAN). A total of 50 nasopharyngeal swabs (n = 25 UTM 3 mL and n = 25 ESwab 1 mL) from SARS-CoV-2 patients, collected during the pandemic at IRCCS Sacro Cuore Don Calabria Hospital (Veneto Region, North-East Italy), were used for our purpose. After heat inactivation, an aliquot of swab medium was used for the direct quantitation. Then, we compared the direct method with the quantitation performed on the RNA purified from nasopharyngeal swab by automated extraction. We observed that the direct approach achieved generally equal RNA copies compared to the extracted RNA. The results with the direct quantitation were more accurate on ESwab with a sensitivity of 93.33% [95% CI, 68.05 to 99.83] and specificity of 100.00% for both N1 and N2. On the other hand, on UTM we observed a higher rate of discordant results for N1 and N2. The human internal amplification control (RPP30) showed 100% of both sensitivity and specificity independent of swabs and approaches. In conclusion, we described a direct quantitation of SARS-CoV-2 in nasopharyngeal swab. Our approach resulted in an efficient quantitation, without automated RNA extraction and purification. However, special care needs to be taken on the potential bias due to the conservation of samples and to the heating treatment, as we used thawed and heat inactivated material. Further studies on a larger cohort of samples are warranted to evaluate the clinical value of this direct approach.


Subject(s)
Clinical Laboratory Techniques/methods , Multiplex Polymerase Chain Reaction/methods , Betacoronavirus/genetics , Betacoronavirus/pathogenicity , Clinical Laboratory Techniques/standards , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Humans , Limit of Detection , Multiplex Polymerase Chain Reaction/standards , Reproducibility of Results , Respiratory Mucosa/virology
12.
J Mol Diagn ; 22(12): 1367-1372, 2020 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-866908

ABSTRACT

This research describes the development of a new multiplex real-time RT-PCR test for detection of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), with primers designed to amplify a 108 bp target on the spike surface glycoprotein (S gene) and a hydrolysis TaqMan probe designed to specifically detect SARS-CoV-2. The limit of detection (LOD) and clinical performance of this new assay were evaluated. A LOD study with inactivated virus exhibited performance equal to the modified CDC assay, with a final LOD of 1301 ± 13 genome equivalents/mL for the Northwell Health Laboratories laboratory-developed test (NWHL LDT) versus 1249 ± 14 genome equivalents/mL for the modified CDC assay. In addition, a clinical evaluation with 270 nasopharyngeal swab specimens exhibited 98.5% positive percent agreement and 99.3% negative percent agreement compared with the modified CDC assay. The NWHL LDT multiplex design allows testing of 91 patients per plate, versus a maximum of 29 patients per plate on the modified CDC assay, providing the benefit of testing significantly more patients per run and saving reagents, during a time when both of these parameters are critical. The results show that the NWHL LDT multiplex assay performs as well as the modified CDC assay but is more efficient and cost-effective and can be used as a diagnostic assay and for epidemiologic surveillance and clinical management of SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/isolation & purification , Clinical Laboratory Techniques , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Multiplex Polymerase Chain Reaction/methods , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Betacoronavirus/genetics , DNA Primers/genetics , Humans , Limit of Detection , Pandemics , Sensitivity and Specificity , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics
13.
Influenza Other Respir Viruses ; 14(2): 142-149, 2020 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-830213

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: In this study, we evaluated the diagnostic potential and clinical impact of an automated multiplex PCR platform (the FilmArray Respiratory Panel; FA-RP), specially designed for pathogen detection in respiratory tract infections in adults with unexplained pneumonia (UP). METHODS: A total of 112 UP patients in Shanghai, China, were enrolled prospectively and assessed using the FA-RP from October 2016 to March 2018. We examined the test results and their influence on clinical decisions. Furthermore, as a control group, we retrospectively obtained the clinical data of 70 UP patients between October 2014 and March 2016 (before the FA-RP was available). The two patient groups were compared with respect to factors, including general antimicrobial use and defined daily dose (DDD) numbers. RESULTS: Between October 2016 and March 2018, the positive rate obtained using FA-RP for UP was 76.8%. The primary pathogens in adults with UP were Influenza A/B (47.3%, 53/112). Compared with the patients before FA-RP was available, patients who underwent FA-RP testing had higher rates of antiviral drug use and antibiotic de-escalation during clinical treatment. FA-RP significantly decreased the total DDDs of antibiotic or antifungal drugs DDDs by 7 days after admission (10.6 ± 2.5 vs 14.1 ± 8.8, P < .01). CONCLUSIONS: The FA-RP is a rapid and sensitive nucleic acid amplification test method for UP diagnosis in adults. The application of FA-RP may lead to a more accurately targeted antimicrobial treatment and reduced use of antibiotic/antifungal drugs.


Subject(s)
Multiplex Polymerase Chain Reaction/methods , Pneumonia/virology , Respiratory Tract Infections/diagnosis , Adult , Aged , Anti-Bacterial Agents/therapeutic use , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , China , Female , Hospitalization , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Molecular Diagnostic Techniques/methods , Pneumonia/drug therapy , Pneumonia/microbiology , RNA, Viral/genetics , Respiratory Tract Infections/drug therapy , Respiratory Tract Infections/microbiology , Respiratory Tract Infections/virology , Viruses/genetics , Viruses/isolation & purification
14.
PLoS One ; 15(9): e0239403, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-781670

ABSTRACT

Since December 2019, the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by a novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 has rapidly spread to almost every nation in the world. Soon after the pandemic was recognized by epidemiologists, a group of biologists comprising the ARTIC Network, has devised a multiplexed polymerase chain reaction (PCR) protocol and primer set for targeted whole-genome amplification of SARS-CoV-2. The ARTIC primer set amplifies 98 amplicons, which are separated only in two PCRs, across a nearly entire viral genome. The original primer set and protocol showed a fairly small amplification bias when clinical samples with relatively high viral loads were used. However, as sample's viral load become low, rapid decrease in abundances of several amplicons were seen. In this report, we will show that dimer formations between some primers are the major cause of coverage bias in the multiplex PCR. Based on this, we propose 12 alternative primers in total in the ARTIC primer set that were predicted to be involved in 14 primer interactions. The resulting primer set, version N1 (NIID-1), exhibits improved overall coverage compared to the ARTIC Network's original (V1) and modified (V3) primer set.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/genetics , DNA Primers/standards , Genome, Viral/genetics , Multiplex Polymerase Chain Reaction/methods , Whole Genome Sequencing/methods , Clinical Laboratory Techniques/methods , Clinical Laboratory Techniques/standards , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , DNA Primers/metabolism , Dimerization , Gene Amplification , Humans , Nucleic Acid Amplification Techniques/methods , Viral Load
15.
Genome Med ; 12(1): 57, 2020 06 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-618232

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) has caused a major epidemic worldwide; however, much is yet to be known about the epidemiology and evolution of the virus partly due to the scarcity of full-length SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2) genomes reported. One reason is that the challenges underneath sequencing SARS-CoV-2 directly from clinical samples have not been completely tackled, i.e., sequencing samples with low viral load often results in insufficient viral reads for analyses. METHODS: We applied a novel multiplex PCR amplicon (amplicon)-based and hybrid capture (capture)-based sequencing, as well as ultra-high-throughput metatranscriptomic (meta) sequencing in retrieving complete genomes, inter-individual and intra-individual variations of SARS-CoV-2 from serials dilutions of a cultured isolate, and eight clinical samples covering a range of sample types and viral loads. We also examined and compared the sensitivity, accuracy, and other characteristics of these approaches in a comprehensive manner. RESULTS: We demonstrated that both amplicon and capture methods efficiently enriched SARS-CoV-2 content from clinical samples, while the enrichment efficiency of amplicon outran that of capture in more challenging samples. We found that capture was not as accurate as meta and amplicon in identifying between-sample variations, whereas amplicon method was not as accurate as the other two in investigating within-sample variations, suggesting amplicon sequencing was not suitable for studying virus-host interactions and viral transmission that heavily rely on intra-host dynamics. We illustrated that meta uncovered rich genetic information in the clinical samples besides SARS-CoV-2, providing references for clinical diagnostics and therapeutics. Taken all factors above and cost-effectiveness into consideration, we proposed guidance for how to choose sequencing strategy for SARS-CoV-2 under different situations. CONCLUSIONS: This is, to the best of our knowledge, the first work systematically investigating inter- and intra-individual variations of SARS-CoV-2 using amplicon- and capture-based whole-genome sequencing, as well as the first comparative study among multiple approaches. Our work offers practical solutions for genome sequencing and analyses of SARS-CoV-2 and other emerging viruses.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/genetics , Genome, Viral/genetics , High-Throughput Nucleotide Sequencing/methods , Whole Genome Sequencing/methods , Coronavirus Infections , Genetic Variation/genetics , Host-Pathogen Interactions/genetics , Humans , Multiplex Polymerase Chain Reaction/methods , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral , RNA, Viral/genetics
16.
Viruses ; 12(8)2020 08 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-717763

ABSTRACT

Genome sequencing of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is increasingly important to monitor the transmission and adaptive evolution of the virus. The accessibility of high-throughput methods and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) has facilitated a growing ecosystem of protocols. Two differing protocols are tiling multiplex PCR and bait capture enrichment. Each method has advantages and disadvantages but a direct comparison with different viral RNA concentrations has not been performed to assess the performance of these approaches. Here we compare Liverpool amplification, ARTIC amplification, and bait capture using clinical diagnostics samples. All libraries were sequenced using an Illumina MiniSeq with data analyzed using a standardized bioinformatics workflow (SARS-CoV-2 Illumina GeNome Assembly Line; SIGNAL). One sample showed poor SARS-CoV-2 genome coverage and consensus, reflective of low viral RNA concentration. In contrast, the second sample had a higher viral RNA concentration, which yielded good genome coverage and consensus. ARTIC amplification showed the highest depth of coverage results for both samples, suggesting this protocol is effective for low concentrations. Liverpool amplification provided a more even read coverage of the SARS-CoV-2 genome, but at a lower depth of coverage. Bait capture enrichment of SARS-CoV-2 cDNA provided results on par with amplification. While only two clinical samples were examined in this comparative analysis, both the Liverpool and ARTIC amplification methods showed differing efficacy for high and low concentration samples. In addition, amplification-free bait capture enriched sequencing of cDNA is a viable method for generating a SARS-CoV-2 genome sequence and for identification of amplification artifacts.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/genetics , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , RNA, Viral/genetics , Base Sequence , Betacoronavirus/isolation & purification , Clinical Laboratory Techniques/methods , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , DNA, Complementary/genetics , Genome, Viral , Humans , Molecular Epidemiology , Multiplex Polymerase Chain Reaction/methods , Pandemics , Whole Genome Sequencing/methods
18.
Biosens Bioelectron ; 166: 112437, 2020 Oct 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-645435

ABSTRACT

The ongoing global pandemic (COVID-19), caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), has become a huge public health issue. Hence, we devised a multiplex reverse transcription loop-mediated isothermal amplification (mRT-LAMP) coupled with a nanoparticle-based lateral flow biosensor (LFB) assay (mRT-LAMP-LFB) for diagnosing COVID-19. Using two LAMP primer sets, the ORF1ab (opening reading frame 1a/b) and N (nucleoprotein) genes of SARS-CoV-2 were simultaneously amplified in a single-tube reaction, and detected with the diagnosis results easily interpreted by LFB. In presence of FITC (fluorescein)-/digoxin- and biotin-labeled primers, mRT-LAMP produced numerous FITC-/digoxin- and biotin-attached duplex amplicons, which were determined by LFB through immunoreactions (FITC/digoxin on the duplex and anti-FITC/digoxin on the test line of LFB) and biotin/treptavidin interaction (biotin on the duplex and strptavidin on the polymerase nanoparticle). The accumulation of nanoparticles leaded a characteristic crimson band, enabling multiplex analysis of ORF1ab and N gene without instrumentation. The limit of detection (LoD) of COVID-19 mRT-LAMP-LFB was 12 copies (for each detection target) per reaction, and no cross-reactivity was generated from non-SARS-CoV-2 templates. The analytical sensitivity of SARS-CoV-2 was 100% (33/33 oropharynx swab samples collected from COVID-19 patients), and the assay's specificity was also 100% (96/96 oropharynx swab samples collected from non-COVID-19 patients). The total diagnostic test can be completed within 1 h from sample collection to result interpretation. In sum, the COVID-19 mRT-LAMP-LFB assay is a promising tool for diagnosing SARS-CoV-2 infections in frontline public health field and clinical laboratories, especially from resource-poor regions.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/genetics , Betacoronavirus/isolation & purification , Biosensing Techniques , Clinical Laboratory Techniques , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Biosensing Techniques/instrumentation , Biosensing Techniques/methods , Biosensing Techniques/statistics & numerical data , China/epidemiology , Clinical Laboratory Techniques/instrumentation , Clinical Laboratory Techniques/methods , Clinical Laboratory Techniques/statistics & numerical data , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Equipment Design , Feasibility Studies , Humans , Limit of Detection , Molecular Diagnostic Techniques , Multiplex Polymerase Chain Reaction/methods , Multiplex Polymerase Chain Reaction/statistics & numerical data , Nanoparticles , Nanotechnology , Nucleic Acid Amplification Techniques , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , RNA, Viral/analysis , RNA, Viral/genetics , Sensitivity and Specificity
19.
Euro Surveill ; 25(24)2020 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-605372

ABSTRACT

Containment strategies and clinical management of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) patients during the current pandemic depend on reliable diagnostic PCR assays for the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Here, we compare 11 different RT-PCR test systems used in seven diagnostic laboratories in Germany in March 2020. While most assays performed well, we identified detection problems in a commonly used assay that may have resulted in false-negative test results during the first weeks of the pandemic.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/genetics , Clinical Laboratory Techniques/methods , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Diagnostic Equipment , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Clinical Laboratory Techniques/instrumentation , Feces/virology , Germany , Humans , Laboratories , Multiplex Polymerase Chain Reaction/instrumentation , Multiplex Polymerase Chain Reaction/methods , Pandemics , Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction/instrumentation , Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction/methods , Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction/instrumentation , Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction/methods , Sensitivity and Specificity
20.
Exp Mol Med ; 52(6): 963-977, 2020 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-601243

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 is very contagious and has rapidly spread globally. Due to various symptomatic and asymptomatic cases and the possibility of asymptomatic transmission, there is a pressing need for a fast and sensitive detection protocol to diagnose asymptomatic people. Various SARS-CoV-2 diagnostic kits are already available from many companies and national health agencies. However, publicly available information on these diagnostic kits is lacking. In response to the growing need and the lack of information, we developed and made available a low-cost, easy-access, real-time PCR-based protocol for the early detection of the virus in a previous study. During the development of the detection protocol, we found that unoptimized primer sets could inadvertently show false-positive results, raising the possibility that commercially available diagnostic kits might also contain primer sets that produce false-positive results. Here, we provide three-step guidelines for the design and optimization of specific primer sets. The three steps include (1) the selection of primer sets for target genes (RdRP, N, E, and S) in the genome of interest (SARS-CoV-2), (2) the in silico validation of primer and amplicon sequences, and (3) the optimization of PCR conditions (i.e., primer concentrations and annealing temperatures) for specific hybridization between the primers and target genes, and the elimination of spurious primer dimers. Furthermore, we have expanded the previously developed real-time PCR-based protocol to more conventional PCR-based protocols and applied a multiplex PCR-based protocol that allows the simultaneous testing of primer sets for RdRP, N, E, and S all in one reaction. Our newly optimized protocol should be helpful for the large-scale, high-fidelity screening of asymptomatic people, even without any high-specification equipment, for the further prevention of transmission, and to achieve early intervention and treatment for the rapidly propagating virus.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/genetics , Clinical Laboratory Techniques/methods , Coronavirus Infections/virology , DNA Primers , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Polymerase Chain Reaction/methods , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Multiplex Polymerase Chain Reaction/methods , Pandemics , Pharynx/virology , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction/methods , SARS Virus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/genetics , Viral Proteins/genetics
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