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Fast SARS-CoV-2 detection by RT-qPCR in preheated nasopharyngeal swab samples
Julia Alcoba-Florez.
Rafaela Gonzalez-Montelongo.
Antonio Inigo-Campos.
Diego Garcia-Martinez de Artola.
Helena Gil-Campesino.
The Microbiology Technical Support Team.
Laura Ciuffreda.
Agustin Valenzuela-Fernandez.
Carlos Flores.
Acceso Abierto
The current reference for COVID-19 diagnosis is based on the detection of SARS-CoV-2 on RNA extracts using one-step retrotranscription and quantitative PCR (RT-qPCR). Based on the urgent need for high-throughput COVID-19 screening, we tested the performance of three alternative, simple and affordable protocols to rapidly detect SARS-CoV-2, overcoming the long and tedious RNA extraction step. Although with an average increase of 6.1 ( {+/-}1.6) cycles compared to standard tests with RNA extracts, we show that RT-qPCR yielded consistent results in nasopharyngeal swab samples that were subject to a direct 70{degrees}C incubation for 10 min. Our findings provide viable options to overcome any supply chain issue and help to increase the throughput of diagnostic tests by using any qPCR device, thereby complementing standard COVID-19 testing.
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