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1.
J Med Virol ; 93(4): 2538-2542, 2021 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1217397

ABSTRACT

The occurrence of the COVID-19 second-wave outbreak in Europe has pushed laboratories performing molecular SARS-CoV-2 tests to increase their throughput and decrease the result rendering time. In this evaluation, we tested for the first time a new, extraction-free, protocol with the Allplex SARS-CoV-2 Assay RT-qPCR kit on a Nimbus platform. Ninety-one samples, of which 71 previously tested positive with RT-qPCR with extraction were immediately analyzed without extraction, using only a dilution and thermal shock protocol. The positive and negative percentage agreements were respectively 97.2% (95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.90-0.99) and 95.0% (95% CI: 0.76-0.99). The two false negatives observed were very weakly positive with the comparison method. Moderate variations in Ct of the targeted genes were observed (median ± 95% CI): E gene, +2.49 ± 0.44; N gene, +0.98 ± 0.54; RdRP/S genes, +2.64 ± 0.48. On the other hand, the number of tests performed within 24 h raised from 86.4% to 97.8%, the turn-around time decreased from 19:18 to 09:03 (p < .0001), and the number of tests that can be performed per day doubled since this technique was introduced routinely in our laboratory.


Subject(s)
/methods , Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction/methods , /isolation & purification , /diagnosis , /genetics , Disease Outbreaks , Europe , Genes, Viral , Humans , Phosphoproteins/genetics , RNA, Viral/analysis , RNA, Viral/genetics , Sensitivity and Specificity
2.
Sci Rep ; 11(1): 9387, 2021 04 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1209076

ABSTRACT

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), calls for prompt and accurate diagnosis and rapid turnaround time for test results to limit transmission. Here, we evaluated two independent molecular assays, the Biomeme SARS-CoV-2 test, and the Precision Biomonitoring TripleLock SARS-CoV-2 test on a field-deployable point-of-care real-time PCR instrument, Franklin three9, in combination with Biomeme M1 Sample Prep Cartridge Kit for RNA 2.0 (M1) manual extraction system for rapid, specific, and sensitive detection of SARS-COV-2 in cell culture, human, and animal clinical samples. The Biomeme SARS-CoV-2 assay, which simultaneously detects two viral targets, the orf1ab and S genes, and the Precision Biomonitoring TripleLock SARS-CoV-2 assay that targets the 5' untranslated region (5' UTR) and the envelope (E) gene of SARS-CoV-2 were highly sensitive and detected as low as 15 SARS-CoV-2 genome copies per reaction. In addition, the two assays were specific and showed no cross-reactivity with Middle Eastern respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV), infectious bronchitis virus (IBV), porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDV), transmissible gastroenteritis (TGE) virus, and other common human respiratory viruses and bacterial pathogens. Also, both assays were highly reproducible across different operators and instruments. When used to test animal samples, both assays equally detected SARS-CoV-2 genetic materials in the swabs from SARS-CoV-2-infected hamsters. The M1 lysis buffer completely inactivated SARS-CoV-2 within 10 min at room temperature enabling safe handling of clinical samples. Collectively, these results show that the Biomeme and Precision Biomonitoring TripleLock SARS-CoV-2 mobile testing platforms could reliably and promptly detect SARS-CoV-2 in both human and animal clinical samples in approximately an hour and can be used in remote areas or health care settings not traditionally serviced by a microbiology laboratory.


Subject(s)
/diagnosis , Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction/methods , /isolation & purification , Animals , Buffers , Cricetinae , Humans , Mobile Applications , Reagent Kits, Diagnostic , Sensitivity and Specificity , Time Factors
3.
Rev Invest Clin ; 73(2): 120-6, 2020 12 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1192670

ABSTRACT

Background: Underestimation of the number of cases during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has been a constant concern worldwide. Detection of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) RNA using realtime reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) is the most common method to confirm a case. However, these tests have suboptimal sensitivity. Objective: The objective of the study was to estimate the number of COVID-19 confirmed cases, intensive care unit (ICU) admissions and deaths in Mexico, accounting for the probabilities of false-negative tests. Methods: We used publicly available, national databases of all SARS-CoV-2 tests performed at public laboratories in Mexico between February 27 and October 31, 2020. We used the estimated probabilities of false-negative tests based on the day of clinical sample collection after symptom initiation calculated previously. With the resulting model, we estimated the corrected daily number of cases, ICU admissions, and deaths. Results: Among 2,024,822 people tested in Mexico between February 27 and October 31 with an available result, we estimated 1,248,583 (95% confidence interval 1,094,850-1,572,818) cases, compared to 902,343 cases reported with positive tests. ICU admissions and deaths were 15% and 8% higher than reported, respectively. Conclusion: Accounting for SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR-based diagnostic tests' precision is a simple way to improve estimations for the true number of COVID-19 cases among tested persons.


Subject(s)
/methods , /diagnosis , /epidemiology , Databases, Factual , False Negative Reactions , Hospitalization/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Intensive Care Units/statistics & numerical data , Mexico/epidemiology , Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction/methods , Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction , Sensitivity and Specificity
4.
Genes (Basel) ; 12(4)2021 04 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1186912

ABSTRACT

For 1 year now, the world is undergoing a coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) pandemic due to the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The most widely used method for COVID-19 diagnosis is the detection of viral RNA by RT-qPCR with a specific set of primers and probe. It is important to frequently evaluate the performance of these tests and this can be done first by an in silico approach. Previously, we reported some mismatches between the oligonucleotides of publicly available RT-qPCR assays and SARS-CoV-2 genomes collected from GISAID and NCBI, potentially impacting proper detection of the virus. In the present study, 11 primers and probe sets investigated during the first study were evaluated again with 84,305 new SARS-CoV-2 unique genomes collected between June 2020 and January 2021. The lower inclusivity of the China CDC assay targeting the gene N has continued to decrease with new mismatches detected, whereas the other evaluated assays kept their inclusivity above 99%. Additionally, some mutations specific to new SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern were found to be located in oligonucleotide annealing sites. This might impact the strategy to be considered for future SARS-CoV-2 testing. Given the potential threat of the new variants, it is crucial to assess if they can still be correctly targeted by the primers and probes of the RT-qPCR assays. Our study highlights that considering the evolution of the virus and the emergence of new variants, an in silico (re-)evaluation should be performed on a regular basis. Ideally, this should be done for all the RT-qPCR assays employed for SARS-CoV-2 detection, including also commercial tests, although the primer and probe sequences used in these kits are rarely disclosed, which impedes independent performance evaluation.


Subject(s)
/methods , Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction/methods , /genetics , Computer Simulation , Genome, Viral , Humans , Mutation , RNA Probes , Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction/methods
5.
PLoS One ; 16(4): e0245423, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1183618

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: In order to identify an inexpensive yet highly stable SARS-CoV-2 collection device as an alternative to foam swabs stored in transport media, both contrived ("surrogate") CoV-positive and patient-collected spun polyester swabs stored in dry tubes were evaluated for time- and temperature-stability using qPCR. METHODS: Surrogate specimens were prepared by combining multiple, residual SARS-CoV-2-positive clinical specimens and diluting to near-LOD levels in either porcine or human mucus ("matrix"), inoculating foam or polyester nasal swabs, and sealing in dry tubes. Swabs were then subjected to one of three temperature excursions: (1) 4°C for up to 72 hours; (2) 40°C for 12 hours, followed by 32°C for up to 60 hours; or (3) multiple freeze-thaw cycles (-20°C). The stability of extracted SARS-CoV-2 RNA for each condition was evaluated by qPCR. Separate usability studies for the dry polyester swab-based HealthPulse@home COVID-19 Specimen Collection Kit were later conducted in both adult and pediatric populations. RESULTS: Polyester swabs stored dry demonstrated equivalent performance to foam swabs for detection of low and moderate SARS-CoV-2 viral loads. Mimicking warm- and cold- climate shipment, surrogate specimens were stable following either 72 hours of a high-temperature excursion or two freeze-thaw cycles. In addition, usability studies comprised of self-collected patient specimens yielded sufficient material for molecular testing, as demonstrated by RNase P detection. CONCLUSIONS: Polyester nasal swabs stored in dry collection tubes offer a robust and inexpensive self-collection method for SARS-CoV-2 viral load testing, as viral RNA remains stable under conditions required for home collection and shipment to the laboratory.


Subject(s)
/diagnosis , /isolation & purification , Specimen Handling/methods , Animals , Clinical Laboratory Techniques/methods , Diagnostic Tests, Routine/methods , Humans , Molecular Diagnostic Techniques , Nasopharynx/virology , Polyesters , RNA, Viral/genetics , Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction/methods , Swine
6.
PLoS One ; 16(4): e0243333, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1183614

ABSTRACT

The emergence and quick spread of SARS-CoV-2 has pointed at a low capacity response for testing large populations in many countries, in line of material, technical and staff limitations. The traditional RT-qPCR diagnostic test remains the reference method and is by far the most widely used test. These assays are limited to a few probe sets, require large sample PCR reaction volumes, along with an expensive and time-consuming RNA extraction step. Here we describe a quantitative nanofluidic assay that overcomes some of these shortcomings, based on the BiomarkTM instrument from Fluidigm. This system offers the possibility of performing 4608 qPCR end-points in a single run, equivalent to 192 clinical samples combined with 12 pairs of primers/probe sets in duplicate, thus allowing the monitoring of SARS-CoV-2 including the detection of specific SARS-CoV-2 variants, as well as the detection other pathogens and/or host cellular responses (virus receptors, response markers, microRNAs). The 10 nL-range volume of BiomarkTM reactions is compatible with sensitive and reproducible reactions that can be easily and cost-effectively adapted to various RT-qPCR configurations and sets of primers/probe. Finally, we also evaluated the use of inactivating lysis buffers composed of various detergents in the presence or absence of proteinase K to assess the compatibility of these buffers with a direct reverse transcription enzymatic step and we propose several protocols, bypassing the need for RNA purification. We advocate that the combined utilization of an optimized processing buffer and a high-throughput real-time PCR device would contribute to improve the turn-around-time to deliver the test results to patients and increase the SARS-CoV-2 testing capacities.


Subject(s)
/diagnosis , Microfluidic Analytical Techniques/methods , Specimen Handling/methods , Adult , /methods , DNA Primers , Diagnostic Tests, Routine/methods , Female , Humans , Male , MicroRNAs/genetics , RNA, Viral/genetics , Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction/methods , Sensitivity and Specificity
7.
Pediatr Infect Dis J ; 40(5): 385-388, 2021 05 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1180650

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Real-time reverse transcription-quantitative polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR) is the reference laboratory method to diagnose SARS-CoV-2 infection then requires equipment and is time-consuming. There is a crucial demand for rapid techniques such as antigen detection test. Considering the different diagnostic accuracy of tests with other respiratory viruses in adults and children, SARS-CoV-2 antigen test must be evaluated specifically in children. METHODS: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the performance of Panbio COVID-19 Ag Rapid Test Device (Abbott) as a point-of-care test for diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2 in comparison to RT-qPCR in a pediatric population. RESULTS: Four hundred forty nasopharyngeal swabs were tested. Amongst the 18 positive RT-qPCR samples, 14 were detected by the rapid antigen test, given an overall sensitivity of 77.7%. All the samples detected positive with the antigen rapid test were also positive with RT-qPCR. CONCLUSION: The sensitivity of Panbio COVID-19 Ag Rapid Test Device is lower in children than in adults. Nevertheless, considering the good values of specificity, negative and positive predictive values this test could be used as a frontline test to obtain quick results, although the negative values with COVID-19 high clinical suspicion should be confirmed using RT-qPCR.


Subject(s)
Antigens, Viral/isolation & purification , /isolation & purification , Adolescent , Child , Child, Preschool , Female , Humans , Infant , Infant, Newborn , Male , Point-of-Care Testing , Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction/methods , Sensitivity and Specificity
8.
BMC Infect Dis ; 20(1): 820, 2020 Nov 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-916970

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Respiratory infections are a serious threat to human health. So, rapid detection of all respiratory pathogens can facilitate prompt treatment and prevent the deterioration of respiratory disease. Previously published primers and probes of the TaqMan array card (TAC) for respiratory pathogens are not sensitive to Chinese clinical specimens. This study aimed to develop and improve the TAC assay to detect 28 respiratory viral and bacterial pathogens in a Chinese population. METHODS: To improve the sensitivity, we redesigned the primers and probes, and labeled the probes with minor groove binders. The amplification efficiency, sensitivity, and specificity of the primers and probes were determined using target-gene containing standard plasmids. The detection performance of the TAC was evaluated on 754 clinical specimens and the results were compared with those from conventional methods. RESULTS: The performance of the TAC assay was evaluated using 754 clinical throat swab samples and the results were compared with those from gold-standard methods. The sensitivity and specificity were 95.4 and 96.6%, respectively. The lowest detection limit of the TAC was 10 to 100 copies/µL. CONCLUSIONS: TAC is an efficient, accurate, and high-throughput approach to detecting multiple respiratory pathogens simultaneously and is a promising tool for the identification of pathogen outbreaks.


Subject(s)
Bacteria/genetics , Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction/methods , Respiratory Tract Infections/diagnosis , Viruses/genetics , China/epidemiology , DNA Primers , Data Accuracy , Humans , Respiratory Tract Infections/epidemiology , Respiratory Tract Infections/virology , Sensitivity and Specificity
9.
Sci Rep ; 11(1): 7122, 2021 03 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1157917

ABSTRACT

Since the first reported case of the new coronavirus infection in Wuhan, China, researchers and governments have witnessed an unseen rise in the number of cases. Thanks to the rapid work of Chinese scientists, the pathogen now called SARS-CoV-2 has been identified and its whole genome was deposited in public databases by early January 2020. The availability of the genome has allowed researchers to develop Reverse Transcription-Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) assays, which are now the gold-standard for molecular diagnosis of the respiratory syndrome COVID19. Because of the rising number of cases and rapid spreading, the world has been facing a shortage of RT-PCR supplies, especially the ones involved in RNA extraction. This has been a major bottleneck to increase testing capacity in many countries that do not significantly manufacture these supplies, such as Brazil. Additionally, RT-qPCR scalability is highly dependent on equipment that usually performs testing of 96 samples at a time. In this work, we describe a cost-effective molecular NGS-based test for diagnosis of COVID19, which uses a single-step RNA extraction and presents high scalability and accuracy when compared to the gold-standard RT-qPCR. A single run of the NGS-based test using the Illumina NextSeq 550 mid-end sequencing equipment is able to multiplex 1,536 patient's samples, providing individual semi-qualitative results (detected, not detected). Detected results are provided with fragments per million (FPM) values, which was demonstrated to correlate with RT-qPCR Cycle Threshold (CT) values. Besides, usage of the high-end Illumina Novaseq platform may yield diagnostic for up to 6144 samples in a single run. Performance results when compared with RT-qPCR show general accuracy of 96%, and 98% when only samples with CT values (gene N) lower than 30 are considered. We have also developed an online platform, termed VarsVID, to help test executors to easily scale testing numbers. Sample registering, wet-lab worksheets generation, sample sheet for sequencing and results' display are all features provided by VarsVID. Altogether, these results will contribute to control COVID19 pandemics.


Subject(s)
/methods , High-Throughput Nucleotide Sequencing/methods , Molecular Diagnostic Techniques/methods , /virology , Humans , Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction/methods , Sensitivity and Specificity , Workflow
10.
Viruses ; 13(4)2021 03 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1154533

ABSTRACT

Reverse transcription quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR) to detect SARS-CoV-2 RNA is an essential test to monitor the occurrence of COVID-19. A methodology is proposed for the determination of maximum pool size and adjustments of cut-off values of cycle threshold (Ct in RT-qPCR pool testing, to compensate for the dilution caused by pooling. The trade-off between pool size and test sensitivity is stated explicitly. The procedure was designed to ensure that samples that would be detectable in individual testing remain detectable in pool testing. The proposed relaxation in cut-off is dependent on the pool size, allowing a relatively tight correction to avoid loss of detection of positive samples. The methodology was evaluated in a study of pool testing of adults attending a public emergency care unit, reference for COVID-19 in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, and presenting flu-like symptoms. Even samples on the edge of detectability in individual testing were detected correctly. The proposed procedure enhances the consistency of RT-qPCR pool testing by enforcing that the scales of detectability in pool processing and in individual sample processing are compatible. This may enhance the contribution of pool testing to large-scale testing for COVID-19.


Subject(s)
/methods , Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction/methods , /genetics , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , /standards , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction/standards , /physiology , Young Adult
11.
PLoS One ; 16(3): e0248885, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1148249

ABSTRACT

One of the biggest challenges during the pandemic has been obtaining and maintaining critical material to conduct the increasing demand for molecular tests. Sometimes, the lack of suppliers and the global shortage of these reagents, a consequence of the high demand, make it difficult to detect and diagnose patients with suspected SARS-CoV-2 infection, negatively impacting the control of virus spread. Many alternatives have enabled the continuous processing of samples and have presented a decrease in time and cost. These measures thus allow broad testing of the population and should be ideal for controlling the disease. In this sense, we compared the SARS-CoV-2 molecular detection effectiveness by Real time RT-PCR using two different protocols for RNA extraction. The experiments were conducted in the National Institute of Health (INS) from Peru. We compared Ct values average (experimental triplicate) results from two different targets, a viral and internal control. All samples were extracted in parallel using a commercial kit and our alternative protocol-samples submitted to proteinase K treatment (3 µg/µL, 56°C for 10 minutes) followed by thermal shock (98°C for 5 minutes followed by 4°C for 2 minutes); the agreement between results was 100% in the samples tested. In addition, we compared the COVID-19 positivity between six epidemiological weeks: the initial two in that the Real time RT-PCR reactions were conducted using RNA extracted by commercial kit, followed by two other using RNA obtained by our kit-free method, and the last two using kit once again; they did not differ significantly. We concluded that our in-house method is an easy, fast, and cost-effective alternative method for extracting RNA and conducing molecular diagnosis of COVID-19.


Subject(s)
/methods , RNA, Viral/isolation & purification , Clinical Laboratory Techniques/methods , Diagnostic Tests, Routine/methods , Endopeptidase K/metabolism , Humans , Pandemics , Peru/epidemiology , RNA/genetics , RNA/isolation & purification , RNA, Viral/genetics , Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction/methods , /genetics
12.
Genome Res ; 31(4): 635-644, 2021 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1145214

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic has sparked an urgent need to uncover the underlying biology of this devastating disease. Though RNA viruses mutate more rapidly than DNA viruses, there are a relatively small number of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) that differentiate the main SARS-CoV-2 lineages that have spread throughout the world. In this study, we investigated 129 RNA-seq data sets and 6928 consensus genomes to contrast the intra-host and inter-host diversity of SARS-CoV-2. Our analyses yielded three major observations. First, the mutational profile of SARS-CoV-2 highlights intra-host single nucleotide variant (iSNV) and SNP similarity, albeit with differences in C > U changes. Second, iSNV and SNP patterns in SARS-CoV-2 are more similar to MERS-CoV than SARS-CoV-1. Third, a significant fraction of insertions and deletions contribute to the genetic diversity of SARS-CoV-2. Altogether, our findings provide insight into SARS-CoV-2 genomic diversity, inform the design of detection tests, and highlight the potential of iSNVs for tracking the transmission of SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
/diagnosis , Genetic Variation , Genome, Viral , Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction/methods , /genetics , /virology , Host-Pathogen Interactions , Humans , Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide
14.
Clin Rev Allergy Immunol ; 59(1): 89-100, 2020 Aug.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1139384

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic is a significant global event in the history of infectious diseases. The SARS-CoV-2 appears to have originated from bats but is now easily transmissible among humans, primarily through droplet or direct contact. Clinical features of COVID-19 include high fever, cough, and fatigue which may progress to ARDS. Respiratory failure can occur rapidly after this. The primary laboratory findings include lymphopenia and eosinopenia. Elevated D-dimer, procalcitonin, and CRP levels may correlate with disease severity. Imaging findings include ground-glass opacities and patchy consolidation on CT scan. Mortality is higher in patients with hypertension, cardiac disease, diabetes mellitus, cancer, and COPD. Elderly patients are more susceptible to severe disease and death, while children seem to have lower rates of infection and lower mortality. Diagnostic criteria and the identification of persons under investigation have evolved as more data has emerged. However, the approach to diagnosis is still very variable from region to region, country to country, and even among different hospitals in the same city. The importance of a clinical pathway to implement the most effective and relevant diagnostic strategy is of critical importance to establish the control of this virus that is responsible for more and more deaths each day.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Clinical Laboratory Techniques/methods , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Lung/diagnostic imaging , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , RNA, Viral/analysis , Algorithms , Betacoronavirus/immunology , Critical Pathways , Early Diagnosis , Evidence-Based Practice , False Negative Reactions , Humans , Immunoglobulin G/immunology , Immunoglobulin M/immunology , Medical History Taking , Pandemics , Patient Isolation , Quarantine , Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction/methods , Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction/methods , Serologic Tests/methods , Severity of Illness Index , Tomography, X-Ray Computed
15.
Diagn Microbiol Infect Dis ; 99(3): 115260, 2021 Mar.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1139480

ABSTRACT

The BioFire® COVID-19 Test and Respiratory Panel 2.1 (RP2.1) are rapid, fully automated assays for the detection of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in nasopharyngeal swabs. In the case of the RP2.1, an additional 21 viral and bacterial pathogens can be detected. Both tests have received emergency use authorization from the U.S. Food & Drug Administration and Interim Order authorization from Health Canada for use in clinical laboratories. We evaluated the performance characteristics of these tests in comparison to a laboratory-developed real-time PCR assay targeting the viral RNA-dependent RNA polymerase and E genes. A total of 78 tests were performed using the BioFire COVID-19 Test, including 30 clinical specimens and 48 tests in a limit of detection study; 57 tests were performed using the RP2.1 for evaluation of SARS-CoV-2 detection, including 30 clinical specimens and 27 tests for limit of detection. Results showed 100% concordance between the BioFire assays and the laboratory-developed test for all clinical samples tested, and acceptable performance of both BioFire assays at their stated limits of detection. Conclusively, the BioFire COVID-19 Test and RP2.1 are highly sensitive assays that can be effectively used in the clinical laboratory for rapid SARS-CoV-2 testing.


Subject(s)
/methods , Nasopharynx/virology , /isolation & purification , /standards , Clinical Laboratory Techniques/methods , Diagnostic Tests, Routine , Humans , Limit of Detection , Multiplex Polymerase Chain Reaction , Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction/methods , Reproducibility of Results , Sensitivity and Specificity
16.
Int J Mol Sci ; 22(5)2021 Feb 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1120492

ABSTRACT

Although molecular testing, and RT-qPCR in particular, has been an indispensable component in the scientific armoury targeting SARS-CoV-2, there are numerous falsehoods, misconceptions, assumptions and exaggerated expectations with regards to capability, performance and usefulness of the technology. It is essential that the true strengths and limitations, although publicised for at least twenty years, are restated in the context of the current COVID-19 epidemic. The main objective of this commentary is to address and help stop the unfounded and debilitating speculation surrounding its use.


Subject(s)
/methods , /virology , Molecular Diagnostic Techniques/methods , Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction/methods , /isolation & purification , Clinical Laboratory Techniques/methods , Humans , RNA, Viral/analysis , RNA, Viral/genetics , Sensitivity and Specificity
17.
J Virol Methods ; 292: 114115, 2021 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1117218

ABSTRACT

A hallmark of coronavirus transcription is the generation of negative-sense RNA intermediates that serve as the templates for the synthesis of positive-sense genomic RNA (gRNA) and an array of subgenomic mRNAs (sgRNAs) encompassing sequences arising from discontinuous transcription. Existing PCR-based diagnostic assays for SAR-CoV-2 are qualitative or semi-quantitative and do not provide the resolution needed to assess the complex transcription dynamics of SARS-CoV-2 over the course of infection. We developed and validated a novel panel of sensitive, quantitative RT-ddPCR assays designed to target regions spanning the genome of SARS-CoV-2. Our assays target untranslated regions (5', 3') as well as different coding regions, including non-structural genes that are only found in full length (genomic) RNA and structural genes that are found in genomic as well as different subgenomic RNAs. Application of these assays to clinically relevant samples will enhance our understanding of SARS-CoV-2 gene expression and may also inform the development of improved diagnostic tools and therapeutics.


Subject(s)
/methods , RNA, Viral/analysis , Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction/methods , /genetics , False Positive Reactions , Humans , Limit of Detection , Open Reading Frames , Viral Load
18.
PLoS One ; 16(3): e0248042, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1115310

ABSTRACT

A newly identified coronavirus, designated as severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS CoV-2), has spread rapidly from its epicenter in China to more than 150 countries across six continents. In this study, we have designed three reverse-transcription loop-mediated isothermal amplification (RT-LAMP) primer sets to detect the RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRP), Envelope (E) and Nucleocapsid protein (N) genes of SARS CoV-2. For one tube reaction, the detection limits for five combination SARS CoV-2 LAMP primer sets (RdRP/E, RdRP/N, E/N, RdRP/E/N and RdRP/N/Internal control (actin beta)) were evaluated with a clinical nasopharyngeal swab sample. Among the five combination, the RdRP/E and RdRP/N/IC multiplex LAMP assays showed low detection limits. The sensitivity and specificity of the RT-LAMP assay were evaluated and compared to that of the widely used Allplex™ 2019-nCoV Assay (Seegene, Inc., Seoul, South Korea) and PowerChek™ 2019-nCoV Real-time PCR kit (Kogenebiotech, Seoul, South Korea) for 130 clinical samples from 91 SARS CoV-2 patients and 162 NP specimens from individuals with (72) and without (90) viral respiratory infections. The multiplex RdRP (FAM)/N (CY5)/IC (Hex) RT-LAMP assay showed comparable sensitivities (RdRP: 93.85%, N: 94.62% and RdRP/N: 96.92%) to that of the Allplex™ 2019-nCoV Assay (100%) and superior to those of PowerChek™ 2019-nCoV Real-time PCR kit (RdRP: 92.31%, E: 93.85% and RdRP/E: 95.38%).


Subject(s)
/diagnosis , Molecular Diagnostic Techniques/methods , Nucleic Acid Amplification Techniques/methods , /genetics , /genetics , Clinical Laboratory Techniques/methods , Coronavirus Infections/virology , DNA Primers/genetics , Humans , Nucleocapsid Proteins/genetics , RNA, Viral/genetics , Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction/methods , Reverse Transcription/genetics , Sensitivity and Specificity
19.
PLoS Negl Trop Dis ; 15(3): e0009227, 2021 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1110082

ABSTRACT

Since its first emergence in 2012, cases of infection with Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) have continued to occur. At the end of January 2020, 2519 laboratory confirmed cases with a case-fatality rate of 34.3% have been reported. Approximately 84% of human cases have been reported in the tropical region of Saudi Arabia. The emergence of MERS-CoV has highlighted need for a rapid and accurate assay to triage patients with a suspected infection in a timely manner because of the lack of an approved vaccine or an effective treatment for MERS-CoV to prevent and control potential outbreaks. In this study, we present two rapid and visual nucleic acid assays that target the MERS-CoV UpE and N genes as a panel that combines reverse transcription recombinase polymerase amplification with a closed vertical flow visualization strip (RT-RPA-VF). This test panel was designed to improve the diagnostic accuracy through dual-target screening after referencing laboratory testing guidance for MERS-CoV. The limit of detection was 1.2×101 copies/µl viral RNA for the UpE assay and 1.2 copies/µl viral RNA for the N assay, with almost consistent with the sensitivity of the RT-qPCR assays. The two assays exhibited no cross-reactivity with multiple CoVs, including the bat severe acute respiratory syndrome related coronavirus (SARSr-CoV), the bat coronavirus HKU4, and the human coronaviruses 229E, OC43, HKU1 and severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Furthermore, the panel does not require sophisticated equipment and provides rapid detection within 30 min. This panel displays good sensitivity and specificity and may be useful to rapidly detect MERS-CoV early during an outbreak and for disease surveillance.


Subject(s)
Clinical Laboratory Techniques/methods , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus/genetics , Molecular Diagnostic Techniques/methods , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Humans , RNA, Viral/genetics , Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction/methods , Reverse Transcription , Saudi Arabia/epidemiology , Sensitivity and Specificity , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/genetics
20.
J Med Virol ; 93(5): 3219-3226, 2021 May.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1100914

ABSTRACT

The emergence of the novel coronavirus, the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in the late months of 2019 had the officials to declare a public health emergency leading to a global response. Public measurements rely on an accurate diagnosis of individuals infected with the virus by using real-time reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). The aim of our study is to relate the fundamental clinical and analytical performance of SARS-CoV-2 (RT-PCR) commercial kits. A total of 94 clinical samples were selected. Generally, 400 µl of each respiratory specimen was subjected to extraction using ExiPrep 96 Viral RNA Kit. All kits master mix preparation, cycling protocol, thermocycler, and results interpretation were carried out according to the manufacturer's instructions of use and recommendations. The performance of the kits was comparable except for the LYRA kit as it was less sensitive (F = 67, p < .001). Overall, four kits scored a sensitivity of 100% including: BGI, IQ Real, Sansure, and RADI. For specificity, all the tested kits scored above 95%. The performance of these commercial kits by gene target showed no significant change in CT values which indicates that kits disparities are mainly linked to the oligonucleotide of the gene target. We believe that most of the commercially available RT-PCR kits included in this study can be used for routine diagnosis of patients with SARS-CoV-2. We recommend including kits with multiple targets in order to monitor the virus changes over time.


Subject(s)
/diagnosis , Reagent Kits, Diagnostic , Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction/methods , Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction/methods , /virology , Humans , Reagent Kits, Diagnostic/standards , /isolation & purification , Sensitivity and Specificity
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