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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 38  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 385-389

Comparison of two real-time polymerase chain reaction assays for the detection of severe acute respiratory syndrome-CoV-2 from combined nasopharyngeal-throat swabs

Department of Microbiology, Maulana Azad Medical College, New Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Oves Siddiqui
138 First Floor Pathology Block, Maulana Azad Medical College, New Delhi
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijmm.IJMM_20_279

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Context: In the absence of effective treatment or vaccine, the current strategy for the prevention of further transmission of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) CoV-2 (COVID-19) infection is early diagnosis and isolation of cases. The diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2 is done by detecting viral RNA in the nasopharyngeal and throat swabs by real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Many commercial assays are now available for performing the PCR assay. Aims: The aim was to evaluate the performance of the SD Biosensor nCoV real-time detection kit with the real-time PCR kit provided by the Indian Council of Medical Research-National Institute of Virology (ICMR-NIV), Pune (NIV Protocol). Subjects and Methods: A total of 253 pairs of nasopharyngeal-oropharyngeal swabs combined in a single viral transport medium were tested for viral RNA by both the protocols. The sensitivity and specificity of the SD Biosensor were calculated considering the ICMR-NIV kit as the gold standard. Matched pairs of recorded cycle threshold values (Ct values) were compared by Pearson's correlation coefficient. Results: Concordant COVID-19 negative and positive PCR results were reported for 113 and 77 samples, respectively. The SD Biosensor kit additionally detected 62 cases, which were found negative by the NIV protocol. In all discordant positive results by the SD Biosensor kit, the average Ct values were higher than the concordant positive results. A total of forty samples tested positive for E gene by SD Biosensor and having Ct values <25 had 100% concordance with NIV protocol results and 39 samples tested positive for E gene by SD Biosensor having Ct value >32 were all found negative by the NIV protocol. Conclusions: The results highlight the need for careful evaluation of commercial kits before being deployed for screening of COVID-19 infections.


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2004 - Indian Journal of Medical Microbiology
Published by Wolters Kluwer - Medknow

Online since April 2001, new site since 1st August '04