Background: The detection of a low amount of viral RNA is crucial to identify a SARS-CoV-2 positive individual harboring a low level of virus, especially during the convalescent period. However, the detection of one gene at high Cycle threshold (Ct) has to be interpreted with caution. In this study we address this specific issue and report our real-life experience. Study design: A total of 1639 nasopharyngeal swabs (NPS) were analyzed with Xpert® Xpress SARS-CoV-2. Positive samples showing high Ct values (Ct>35) were concentrated by centrifugation and re-tested with Cepheid or other methods (RealStar SARS-CoV2 RT-PCR, Altona Diagnostics; GeneFinder COVID-19 Plus RealAmp Kit, Elitech). Results: 1599 (97.5%) negative samples, 36 (2.3%) positive samples and 4 (0.2%) presumptive positive samples were detected. In 17 out of 36 positive patients, very low viral RNA copies were suspected since positivity was detected at high Ct. We confirmed positivity for patients who showed both E and N genes detected and for patients with only N detected but with Ct <39. On the contrary, samples with only gene N detected with Ct values >39 were found negative. NPS taken 24 hours after the first collection confirmed the negativity of the 12 samples. Clinical data sustained these results since only 2 of these 12 patients showed COVID-19-like symptoms. Conclusions: These data support our consideration that detection of the N2 gene at high Ct needs to be interpreted with caution, suggesting that collaboration between virologists and clinicians is important for better understanding of results.

Detection of SARS-COV N2 Gene: Very low amounts of viral RNA or false positive? / Falasca, F.; Sciandra, I.; Di Carlo, D.; Gentile, M.; Deales, A.; Antonelli, G.; Turriziani, O.. - In: JOURNAL OF CLINICAL VIROLOGY. - ISSN 1386-6532. - 133:(2020), p. 104660. [10.1016/j.jcv.2020.104660]

Detection of SARS-COV N2 Gene: Very low amounts of viral RNA or false positive?

Falasca F.;Sciandra I.;Di Carlo D.;Gentile M.;Antonelli G.;Turriziani O.
2020

Abstract

Background: The detection of a low amount of viral RNA is crucial to identify a SARS-CoV-2 positive individual harboring a low level of virus, especially during the convalescent period. However, the detection of one gene at high Cycle threshold (Ct) has to be interpreted with caution. In this study we address this specific issue and report our real-life experience. Study design: A total of 1639 nasopharyngeal swabs (NPS) were analyzed with Xpert® Xpress SARS-CoV-2. Positive samples showing high Ct values (Ct>35) were concentrated by centrifugation and re-tested with Cepheid or other methods (RealStar SARS-CoV2 RT-PCR, Altona Diagnostics; GeneFinder COVID-19 Plus RealAmp Kit, Elitech). Results: 1599 (97.5%) negative samples, 36 (2.3%) positive samples and 4 (0.2%) presumptive positive samples were detected. In 17 out of 36 positive patients, very low viral RNA copies were suspected since positivity was detected at high Ct. We confirmed positivity for patients who showed both E and N genes detected and for patients with only N detected but with Ct <39. On the contrary, samples with only gene N detected with Ct values >39 were found negative. NPS taken 24 hours after the first collection confirmed the negativity of the 12 samples. Clinical data sustained these results since only 2 of these 12 patients showed COVID-19-like symptoms. Conclusions: These data support our consideration that detection of the N2 gene at high Ct needs to be interpreted with caution, suggesting that collaboration between virologists and clinicians is important for better understanding of results.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11573/1471418
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