Development of a New Multiplex Real-Time RT-PCR Assay for Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) Detection.
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.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>High-throughput assays for the SARS-CoV-2 virus are critical to increasing test capacity and slowing the spread of COVID-19. Abbott Molecular developed and received emergency use authorization (EUA) to deploy the new RealTime SARS-CoV-2 assay, run on the automated m2000sp/rt system.<h4>Objective</h4>To evaluate analytical and clinical performance of the RealTime SARS-CoV-2 assay compared to the SARS-CoV-2 CDC-based laboratory developed test (LDT) in clinical use by the University of Washington Clinical Virology Laboratory (UW Virology).<h4>Methods</h4>RealTime SARS-CoV-2 assay limit of detection (LOD) was evaluated by testing two dilution panels of 60 replicates each. Cross-reactivity was evaluated by testing 24 clinical samples positive for various non‒SARS-CoV-2 respiratory viruses. Clinical performance was evaluated using 30 positive and 30 negative SARS-CoV-2 clinical samples previously tested using the UW Virology SARS-CoV-2 LDT.<h4>Results</h4>Exceeding the 100 copies/mL LOD reported in the RealTime SARS-CoV-2 assay EUA product insert, 19 of 20 replicates were detected at 50 copies/mL and 16 of 20 replicates were detected at 25 copies/mL. All clinical samples positive for 24 non‒SARS-CoV-2 respiratory viruses were SARS-CoV-2 negative on the RealTime SARS-CoV-2 assay. The assay had high sensitivity (93%) and specificity (100%) for detecting SARS-CoV-2 in clinical samples. Two positive samples that tested negative with the RealTime SARS-CoV-2 assay had cycle numbers of 35.94 or greater and required dilution prior to testing. One of these samples was also inconclusive on the SARS-CoV-2 LDT.<h4>Conclusion</h4>The RealTime SARS-CoV-2 assay is acceptable for clinical use. With the high-throughput, fully automated m2000 system, this assay will accelerate the pace of SARS-CoV-2 testing.
Project description:Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the virus that causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), has spread rapidly around the globe since it was first identified in December of 2019 in Wuhan, China. In a race to contain the infection, researchers and healthcare officials have developed several assays to help diagnose individuals with COVID-19. To help laboratories decide what assay to bring into testing lines, factors such as assay availability, cost, throughput, and TAT should be considered. Here we validated a modified version of the CDC assay and used it as a reference to evaluate the performance of the NeuMoDxTM SARS-CoV-2 and DiaSorin SimplexaTM Covid-19 Direct assays. In silico analysis and clinical sample testing showed that the primers/probes designed by the CDC were specific to the SARS-CoV-2 as they accurately detected all reactive samples with an assay LoD of 200 copies/mL. The performance of the three assays were analyzed using 159 nasopharyngeal swabs specimen tested within 1-5 days after routine testing. A 100 % agreement was observed between the commercial assays and the modified CDC SARS-CoV-2 assay. A deeper look at the Ct values showed no significant difference between NeuMoDx and the modified CDC SARS-CoV-2 assay, whereas DiaSorin had lower overall Ct values than the modified CDC SARS-CoV-2 assay. NeuMoDx and DiaSorin workflows were much easier to perform. NeuMoDx has the highest throughput and shortest TAT, whereas although the modified CDC SARS-CoV-2 assay has comparable throughput to DiaSorin, it has the longest hands-on time and highest TAT.
Project description:BackgroundThe novel respiratory virus SARS-CoV-2, responsible for over 380,000 COVID-19 related deaths, has caused significant strain on healthcare infrastructure and clinical laboratories globally. The pandemic's initial challenges include broad diagnostic testing, consistent reagent supply lines, and access to laboratory instruments and equipment. In early 2020, primer/probe sets distributed by the CDC utilized the same fluorophore for molecular detection - requiring multiple assays to be run in parallel - consuming valuable and limited resources.MethodsNasopharyngeal swabs submitted to UW Virology for SARS-CoV-2 clinical testing were extracted, amplified by our laboratory developed test (LDT) - a CDC-based quantitative reverse transcriptase PCR reaction - and analyzed for agreement between the multiplexed assay. Laboratory- confirmed respiratory infection samples were included to evaluate assay cross-reaction specificity.ResultsTriplexing correctly identified SARS-CoV-2 in 98.4% of confirmed positive or inconclusive patient samples by single-plex LDT (n?=?183/186). All 170 SARS-CoV-2 negative samples tested by single-plex LDT were negative by triplexing. Other laboratory-confirmed respiratory infections did not amplify for SARS-CoV-2 in the triplex reaction.ConclusionsMultiplexing two virus-specific gene targets and an extraction control was found to be comparable to running parallel assays independently, while significantly improving assay throughput.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Multiple RT-qPCR kits are available in the market for SARS-CoV-2 diagnosis, some of them with Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) by FDA or their country of origin agency, but many of them lack of proper clinical evaluation.<h4>Objective</h4>We evaluated the clinical performance of two Korean SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR kits available in South America, AccuPower SARS-CoV-2 Multiplex RT-PCR kit (Bioneer, South Korea) and Allplex 2019-nCoV Assay (Seegene, South Korea), for RT-qPCR SARS-CoV-2 diagnosis using the CDC protocol as a gold standard.<h4>Results</h4>We found strong differences among both kits clinical performance and analytical sensitivity; while the Allplex 2019-nCoV Assay has sensitivity of 96.5% and an estimated limit of detection of 4,000 copies/ml, the AccuPower SARS-CoV-2 Multiplex RT-PCR kit has a sensitivity of 75.5% and limit of detection estimated to be bigger than 20,000 copies/ml.<h4>Conclusions</h4>AccuPower SARS-CoV-2 Multiplex RT-PCR kit and Allplex 2019-nCoV Assay are both made in South Korea but EUA by Korean CDC was only granted to the later. Our results support that Korean CDC EUA should be considered as a quality control proxy for Korean SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR kits prior to importation by developing countries to guarantee high sensitivity diagnosis.
Project description:While diagnosis of COVID-19 relies on qualitative molecular testing for the absence or presence of SARS-CoV-2 RNA, quantitative viral load determination for SARS-CoV-2 has many potential applications in antiviral therapy and vaccine trials as well as implications for public health and quarantine guidance. To date, no quantitative SARS-CoV-2 viral load tests have been authorized for clinical use by the FDA. In this study, we modified the FDA emergency use authorized qualitative RealTime SARS-CoV-2 assay into a quantitative SARS-CoV-2 Laboratory Developed Test (LDT) using newly developed Abbott SARS-CoV-2 calibration standards. Both analytical and clinical performance of this SARS-CoV-2 quantitative LDT was evaluated using nasopharyngeal swabs (NPS). We further assessed the correlation between Ct and the ability to culture virus on Vero CCL81 cells. The SARS-CoV-2 quantitative LDT demonstrated high linearity with R<sup>2</sup> value of 0.992, high inter- and intra-assay reproducibility across the dynamic range (SDs ± 0.08-0.14 log<sub>10</sub> copies/mL for inter-assay reproducibility and ± 0.09 to 0.19 log<sub>10</sub> copies/mL for intra-assay reproducibility). Lower limit of detection was determined as 1.90 log<sub>10</sub> copies/mL. The highest Ct at which CPE was detected ranged between 28.21-28.49, corresponding to approximately 4.2 log<sub>10</sub> copies/mL. Quantitative tests, validated against viral culture capacity, may allow more accurate identification of individuals with and without infectious viral shedding from the respiratory tract.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>New SARS-CoV-2 variants with increased transmissibility, like B.1.1.7, first detected in England or B.1.351, first detected in South Africa, have caused considerable concern worldwide. In order to contain the spread of these lineages, it is of utmost importance to have rapid, sensitive and high-throughput detection methods at hand.<h4>Methods</h4>A set of RT-qPCR assays was modified for a diagnostic SARS-CoV-2 multiplex assay including detection of the del-HV69/70 and N501Y mutations on the cobas6800 platform. Analytical sensitivity was assessed for both wild-type SARS-CoV-2 and B.1.1.7 lineage by serial dilution. For clinical performance, a total of 176 clinical samples were subjected to the test and results compared to a commercial manual typing-PCR assay and next generation sequencing as gold standard.<h4>Results</h4>The multiplex assay was highly sensitive for detection of SARS-CoV-2 RNA in clinical samples, with an LoD of 6.16 cp/ml (CI: 4.00-8.31). LoDs were slightly higher for detection of the HV69/70 deletion (85.92, CI: 61-194.41) and the N501Y SNP (105.99 cp/ml, CI: 81.59 - 183.66). A total of 176 clinical samples were tested with the assay, including 50 samples containing SARS-CoV-2 of the B.1.1.7 lineage, one containing B.1.351 and 85 non-B.1.1.7/B.1.351 lineage, of which three also harbored a HV69/70 deletion. All were correctly identified by the multiplex assay.<h4>Conclusion</h4>We describe here a highly sensitive, fully automated multiplex PCR assay for the simultaneous detection of the del-HV69/70 and N501Y mutations that can distinguish between B.1.1.7 and other lineages. The assay allows for high-throughput screening for currently relevant variants in clinical samples prior to sequencing.
Project description: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.
Project description:Early and accurate detection of SARS-CoV-2 is important for diagnosis and transmission control. The use of high-throughput and automated testing allows laboratories to better deliver diagnostic testing given manpower and resource limitations. We validated the clinical and analytical performance of the Hologic Panther Aptima SARS-CoV-2 assay with an emphasis on detection of specimens with low viral loads. The clinical performance was evaluated using 245 clinical specimens, against a comparator PCR-based laboratory developed test (LDT). The analytical performance was determined by replicate testing of contrived samples in a ten-fold dilution series (CT values 32-42, based on LDT). The Aptima assay had 96.7% overall percent agreement, 100% negative percent agreement and 88.1% positive percent agreement. It was able to consistently detect SARS-CoV-2 in contrived samples with CT = 32 by LDT (calculated 2354 copies/mL). The 95% limit of detection of the Aptima assay was estimated to be at LDT CT = 33 (equivalent to 870 copies/mL). The relative light units (RLU) × 1000 for 52 true positive clinical specimens was 962.2 ± 181.5, and that for the 186 true negative specimens was 264.6 ± 14.3. The Aptima assay was a reliable method with a high overall percent agreement against our comparator LDT. We propose that samples reported as negative by the Aptima assay with RLU > 350 be tested by a secondary method, in order to improve detection of samples with very low viral loads.
Project description:To provide an accessible and inexpensive method to surveil for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) mutations, we developed a multiplex real-time reverse transcription-PCR (rRT-PCR) assay, the Spike single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) assay, to detect specific mutations in the <i>spike</i> receptor binding domain. A single primer pair was designed to amplify a 348-bp region of <i>spike</i>, and probes were initially designed to detect K417, E484K, and N501Y. The assay was evaluated using characterized variant sample pools and residual nasopharyngeal samples. Variant calls were confirmed by SARS-CoV-2 genome sequencing in a subset of samples. Subsequently, a fourth probe was designed to detect L452R. The lower limit of 95% detection was 2.46 to 2.48 log<sub>10</sub> genome equivalents (GE)/ml for the three initial targets (∼1 to 2 GE/reaction). Among 253 residual nasopharyngeal swabs with detectable SARS-CoV-2 RNA, the Spike SNP assay was positive in 238 (94.1%) samples. All 220 samples with threshold cycle (<i>C<sub>T</sub></i>) values of <30 for the SARS-CoV-2 N2 target were detected, whereas 18/33 samples with N2 <i>C<sub>T</sub></i> values of ≥30 were detected. Spike SNP results were confirmed by sequencing in 50/50 samples (100%). Addition of the 452R probe did not affect performance for the original targets. The Spike SNP assay accurately identifies SARS-CoV-2 mutations in the receptor binding domain, and it can be quickly modified to detect new mutations that emerge.
Project description:Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has become a major threat to public health. Rapid molecular testing for convenient and timely diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2 infections represents a challenge that could help to control the current pandemic and prevent future outbreaks. We aimed to develop and validate a multiplex and colorimetric reverse transcription loop-mediated isothermal amplification (RT-LAMP) assay using lyophilized LAMP reagents for sensitive and rapid detection of SARS-CoV-2. LAMP primers were designed for a set of gene targets identified by a genome-wide comparison of viruses. Primer sets that showed optimal features were combined into a multiplex RT-LAMP assay. Analytical validation included assessment of the limit of detection (LoD), intra- and inter-assay precision, and cross-reaction with other respiratory pathogens. Clinical performance compared to that of real-time reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR) was assessed using 278 clinical RNA samples isolated from swabs collected from individuals tested for COVID-19. The RT-LAMP assay targeting the RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (<i>RdRp</i>), membrane (<i>M</i>), and <i>ORF1ab</i> genes achieved a comparable LoD (0.65 PFU/mL, CT=34.12) to RT-qPCR and was 10-fold more sensitive than RT-qPCR at detecting viral RNA in clinical samples. Cross-reactivity to other respiratory pathogens was not observed. The multiplex RT-LAMP assay demonstrated a strong robustness and acceptable intra- and inter-assay precision (mean coefficient of variation, 4.75% and 8.30%). Diagnostic sensitivity and specificity values were 100.0% (95% CI: 97.4-100.0%) and 98.6% (95% CI: 94.9-99.8%), respectively, showing high consistency (Cohen's kappa, 0.986; 95% CI: 0.966-1.000; p<0.0001) compared to RT-qPCR. The novel one-step multiplex RT-LAMP assay is storable at room temperature and showed similar diagnostic accuracy to conventional RT-qPCR, while being faster (<45 min), simpler, and cheaper. The new assay could allow reliable and early diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2 infections in primary health care. It may aid large-scale testing in resource-limited settings, especially if it is integrated into a point-of-care diagnostic device.