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Preprint Dans Anglais | medRxiv | ID: ppmedrxiv-21265946


We prepared severe acute respiratory syndrome-coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) working standards and reference panels from a pool of swab fluid samples before and after inactivation by beta-propiolactone and quantified viral load in nucleic acid amplification technology (NAT) detectable RNA copies/mL using limiting dilution analysis. The following 50% lower limits of detection (LOD) were estimated by probit analysis as compared to detection limits of rapid antigen tests on 1.5 fold dilutions of the native material: Roche cobas PCR 1.8 (1.0-3.3), Hologic Aptima TMA 6.6 (4.4-9.9), DRW SAMBA 15 (7-30), Molgen LAMP 23 (13-42), Fluorecare antigen 50,000, Abbott Panbio antigen 75,000 and Roche antigen 100,000 copies/mL. One 50% Tissue Culture Infectious Dose (TCID50)/mL of culture fluid was estimated to be equivalent to approximately 1000 RNA copies/mL (2700-4300 International Units) in our working standard. When assuming this level as start of contagiousness in a log-linear ramp up viremia model with 10-fold rise of viral load per day for the B.1 (Wuhan) type we estimated relative time points of first detectability of early infection by the different SARS-CoV-2 assays from the LODs mentioned above. The four NAT assays would be able to detect early viremia 40-66 hours earlier than the 1000 copies/mL infectivity threshold, whereas the three antigen tests would become positive 41-48 hours later. Our modeling of analytical sensitivity data was found to be compatible with clinical sensitivity data of rapid antigen tests and confirms that NAT assays are more reliable than antigen assays for identifying early infected asymptomatic individuals who are potentially infectious.

Preprint Dans Anglais | bioRxiv | ID: ppbiorxiv-452160


In the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic (April 2020), SARS-CoV-2 was detected in farmed minks and genomic sequencing was performed on mink farms and farm personnel. Here, we describe the outbreak and use sequence data with Bayesian phylodynamic methods to explore SARS-CoV-2 transmission in minks and related humans on farms. High number of farm infections (68/126) in minks and farm related personnel (>50% of farms) were detected, with limited spread to the general human population. Three of five initial introductions of SARS-CoV-2 lead to subsequent spread between mink farms until November 2020. The largest cluster acquired a mutation in the receptor binding domain of the Spike protein (position 486), evolved faster and spread more widely and longer. Movement of people and distance between farms were statistically significant predictors of virus dispersal between farms. Our study provides novel insights into SARS-CoV-2 transmission between mink farms and highlights the importance of combing genetic information with epidemiological information at the animal-human interface.

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