Comparison five primer sets from different genome region of COVID-19 for detection of virus infection by conventional RT-PCR.
ABSTRACT: Background and Objectives:The new beta-coronavirus, which caused Severe Acute Respiratory Coronavirus-2 Syndrome (SARS-CoV-2), a major respiratory outbreak in Wuhan, China in December 2019, is now prevalent in many countries around the world. Identifying PCR-based viruses is a well-known and relatively stable protocol. Unfortunately, the high mutation rates may lead to widespread changes in viral nucleic acid sequences, and so using specific primers for PCR can be recommended. In this study, we evaluated the power of a conventional RT-PCR to detect SARS-CoV-2 RNA among the five set primer sets. Materials and Methods:The five genomic regions of the Coronavirus SARS-2 virus including Nucleocapsids (N), Envelope (E), RNA depended RNA Polymerase (RdRp), ORF1ab and Spike (S) were selected for primer designing. A conventional RT-PCR was performed to compare sensitivity, specificity and other analytical characteristics of primers designed against two Real Time PCR commercial kits. Results:The result of the comparative analysis showed that the ORF1ab, N and RdRp primers had a sensitivity, specificity and positive predictive value higher than other primers. A significant difference in the analytical sensitivity between the studied primer sets in RT-PCR kits was observed. Conclusion:In this study, the ORF1ab, Nucleocapsid and RdRp regions have the best primers for identifying the SARS-CoV-2 RNA between different genes that have been suggested.
Project description:OBJECTIVE:To evaluate a reverse transcription loop-mediated isothermal amplification (RT-LAMP) assay for detection of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), and compare it with RT-PCR. METHODS:We designed primers specific to the orf1ab and S genes of SARS-CoV-2. Total viral RNA was extracted using the QIAamp Viral RNA Mini Kit. We optimized the RT-LAMP assay, and evaluated it for its sensitivity and specificity of detection using real-time turbidity monitoring and visual observation. RESULTS:The primer sets orf1ab-4 and S-123 amplified the genes in the shortest times, the mean (±SD) times were 18 ± 1.32 min and 20 ± 1.80 min, respectively, and 63°C was the optimum reaction temperature. The sensitivities were 2 × 101 copies and 2 × 102 copies per reaction with primer sets orf1ab-4 and S-123, respectively. This assay showed no cross-reactivity with 60 other respiratory pathogens. To describe the availability of this method in clinical diagnosis, we collected 130 specimens from patients with clinically suspected SARS-CoV-2 infection. Among them, 58 were confirmed to be positive and 72 were negative by RT-LAMP. The sensitivity was 100% (95% CI 92.3%-100%), specificity 100% (95% CI 93.7%-100%). This assay detected SARS-CoV-2 in a mean (±SD) time of 26.28 ± 4.48 min and the results can be identified with visual observation. CONCLUSION:These results demonstrate that we developed a rapid, simple, specific and sensitive RT-LAMP assay for SARS-CoV-2 detection among clinical samples. It will be a powerful tool for SARS-CoV-2 identification, and for monitoring suspected patients, close contacts and high-risk groups.
Project description: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.
Project description:BACKGROUND:To compare the diagnostic efficacy between two different real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test kits for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) nucleic acid detection and provide references for laboratories. METHODS:Throat swab samples from 18 hospitalized patients were clinically diagnosed with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and 100 hospitalized patients without COVID-19 were collected. SARS-CoV-2 nucleic acid was detected in throat swab samples with RT-PCR test kits from Sansure Biotech Inc (Hunan, China) and Shanghai BioGerm Medical Biotechnology Co., Ltd.(Shanghai, China). The sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value (PPV), negative predictive value (NPV), and kappa value were analyzed, and three parallel tests were performed with three weakly positive samples. RESULTS:The sensitivity, specificity, PPV, NPV, and kappa value of the Sansure PCR kit were 0.833, 1.000, 1.000, 0.971, and 0.894, respectively, and the sensitivity, specificity, PPV, NPV, and kappa value of the BioGerm PCR kit were 0.944, 1.000, 1.000, 0.990, and 0.966, respectively. For the three parallel tests, the coefficient of variation value of the BioGerm PCR kit in all three samples was the smallest for both the ORF1ab and N gene. CONCLUSION:The detection efficacy of the BioGerm PCR kit for SARS-CoV-2 nucleic acid detection was relatively higher than that of the Sansure PCR kit.
Project description:Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) is an acute newly emerged infectious respiratory illness. The etiologic agent of SARS was named 'SARS-associated coronavirus' (SARS-CoV) that can be detected with reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) assays. In this study, 12 sets of nested primers covering the SARS-CoV genome have been screened and showed sufficient sensitivity to detect SARS-CoV in RNA isolated from virus cultured in Vero 6 cells. To optimize further the reaction condition of those nested primers sets, seven sets of nested primers have been chosen to compare their reverse transcribed efficiency with specific and random primers, which is useful to combine RT with the first round of PCR into a one-step RT-PCR. Based on the sensitivity and simplicity of results, the no. 73 primer set was chosen as the candidate primer set for clinical diagnoses. To specify the amplicon to minimize false positive results, a Taqman RT-nested PCR system of no. 73 nested primer set was developed. Through investigations on a test panel of whole blood obtained from 30 SARS patients and 9 control persons, the specificity and sensitivity of the Taqman RT-nested PCR system was found to be 100 and 83%, respectively, which suggests that the method is a promising one to diagnose SARS in early stages.
Project description:Real-time reverse transcription PCR (RT-qPCR) is the gold-standard technique for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) detection in nasopharyngeal swabs specimens. The analysis by RT-qPCR usually requires a previous extraction step to obtain the purified viral RNA. Unfortunately, RNA extraction constitutes a bottleneck for early detection in many countries since it is expensive, time-consuming and depends on the availability of commercial kits. Here, we describe an extraction-free protocol for SARS-CoV-2 detection by RT-qPCR from nasopharyngeal swab clinical samples in saline solution. The method includes a treatment with proteinase K followed by heat inactivation (PK+HID method). We demonstrate that PK+HID improves the RT-qPCR performance in comparison to the heat-inactivation procedure. Moreover, we show that this extraction-free protocol can be combined with a variety of multiplexing RT-qPCR kits. The method combined with a multiplexing detection kit targeting N and ORF1ab viral genes showed a sensitivity of 0.99 and a specificity of 0.99 from the analysis of 106 positive and 106 negative clinical samples. In conclusion, PK+HID is a robust, fast and inexpensive procedure for extraction-free RT-qPCR determinations of SARS-CoV-2. The National Administration of Drugs, Foods and Medical Devices of Argentina has recently authorized the use of this method.
Project description:Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a newly emerging human infectious disease caused by Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2, also previously known as 2019-nCoV). Within 8 months of the outbreak, more than 10,000,000 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed worldwide. Since human-to-human transmission occurs easily and the rate of human infection is rapidly increasing, sensitive and early diagnosis is essential to prevent a global outbreak. Recently, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced various primer-probe sets for SARS-CoV-2 developed at different institutions: China Center for Disease Control and Prevention (China CDC, China), Charité (Germany), The University of Hong Kong (HKU, Hong Kong), National Institute of Infectious Diseases in Japan (Japan NIID, Japan), National Institute of Health in Thailand (Thailand NIH, Thailand), and US CDC (USA). In this study, we compared the ability to detect SARS-CoV-2 RNA among seven primer-probe sets for the N gene and three primer-probe sets for the Orf1 gene. The results revealed that "NIID_2019-nCOV_N" from the Japan NIID and "ORF1ab" from China CDC represent a recommendable performance of RT-qPCR analysis for SARS-CoV-2 molecular diagnostics without nonspecific amplification and cross-reactivity for hCoV-229E, hCoV-OC43, and MERS-CoV RNA. Therefore, the appropriate combination of NIID_2019-nCOV_N (Japan NIID) and ORF1ab (China CDC) sets should be selected for sensitive and reliable SARS-CoV-2 molecular diagnostics.
Project description:The pandemic novel coronavirus infection, Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), has affected at least 190 countries or territories, with 465,915 confirmed cases and 21,031 deaths. In a containment-based strategy, rapid, sensitive and specific testing is important in epidemiological control and clinical management. Using 96 SARS-CoV-2 and 104 non-SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus genomes and our in-house program, GolayMetaMiner, four specific regions longer than 50 nucleotides in the SARS-CoV-2 genome were identified. Primers were designed to target the longest and previously untargeted nsp2 region and optimized as a probe-free real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) assay. The new COVID-19-nsp2 assay had a limit of detection (LOD) of 1.8 TCID50/mL and did not amplify other human-pathogenic coronaviruses and respiratory viruses. Assay reproducibility in terms of cycle threshold (Cp) values was satisfactory, with the total imprecision (% CV) values well below 5%. Evaluation of the new assay using 59 clinical specimens from 14 confirmed cases showed 100% concordance with our previously developed COVID-19-RdRp/Hel reference assay. A rapid, sensitive, SARS-CoV-2-specific real-time RT-PCR assay, COVID-19-nsp2, was developed.
Project description:An epidemic of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) causing coronavirus diseases (C0VID-19) initially reported in Wuhan, China has rapidly emerged into a global pandemic affecting millions of people worldwide. Molecular detection of SARS-CoV-2 using reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) forms the mainstay in screening, diagnosis and epidemiology of the disease. Since the virus evolves by accumulating base substitutions, mutations in the viral genome could possibly affect the accuracy of RT-PCR-based detection assays. The recent availability of genomes of SARS-CoV-2 isolates motivated us to assess the presence and potential impact of variations in target sites of the oligonucleotide primers and probes used in molecular diagnosis. We catalogued a total of 132 primer or probe sequences from literature and data available in the public domain. Our analysis revealed that a total of 5862 unique genetic variants mapped to at least one of the 132 primer or probe binding sites in the genome. A total of 29 unique variants were present in ? 1% of genomes from at least one of the continents (Asia, Africa, Australia, Europe, North America, and South America) that mapped to 36 unique primers or probes binding sites. Similarly, a total of 27 primer or probe binding sites had cumulative variants frequency of ? 1% in the global SARS-CoV-2 genomes. These included primers or probes sites which are used worldwide for molecular diagnosis as well as approved by national and international agencies. We also found 286 SARS-CoV-2 genomic regions with low variability at a continuous stretch of ? 20bps that could be potentially used for primer designing. This highlights the need for sequencing genomes of emerging pathogens to enable evidence-based policies for development and approval of diagnostics.
Project description:Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) testing has lagged in many countries because of test kit shortages and analytical process bottlenecks. This study investigated the feasibility and accuracy of a sample pooling approach for wide-scale population screening for coronavirus disease 2019. A total of 940 nasopharyngeal swab samples (934 negative and 6 positive) previously tested for SARS-CoV-2 were deidentified and assigned random numbers for analysis, and 94 pools of 10 samples each were generated. Automated RNA extraction, followed by RT-PCR, was performed in a 96-well plate. Positive pools were identified, and the individual samples were reanalyzed. Of the 94 pools/wells, four were positive [Ct values: N (22.7 to 28.3), ORF1ab (23.3 to 27.2), and internal control (34.4 to 35.4)]. The 40 samples comprising the four pools were identified and reanalyzed individually; six samples were positive, with Ct values of N gene, ORF1ab, and internal control comparable to their respective wells. Additional experiments were performed on samples with high Ct values, and overall results showed 91.6% positive and 100% negative agreement compared with individual testing approach. Thus, 940 samples were tested in 148 reactions compared with 940 reactions in routine screening. The sample pooling strategy may help catch up with testing needs and minimal turnaround times and facilitate enormous savings on laboratory supplies, extraction, and PCR kits currently in short supply.
Project description:The RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp) of SARS coronavirus (SARS-CoV) is essential for viral replication and a potential target for anti-SARS drugs. We report here the cloning, expression, and purification of the N-terminal GST-fused SARS-CoV RdRp and its polymerase catalytic domain in Escherichia coli. During purification, the full-length GST-RdRp was found to cleave into three main fragments: an N-terminal p12 fragment, a middle p30 fragment, and a C-terminal p64 fragment comprising the catalytic domain, presumably due to bacterial proteases. Biochemical assays show that the full-length GST-RdRp has RdRp activity and the p64 and p12 fragments form a complex that exhibits comparable RdRp activity, whereas the GST-p64 protein has no activity, suggesting that the p12 domain is required for polymerase activity possibly via involvement in template-primer binding. Nonnucleoside HIV-1 RT inhibitors are shown to have no evident inhibitory effect on SARS-CoV RdRp activity. This work provides a basis for biochemical and structural studies of SARS-CoV RdRp and for development of anti-SARS drugs.