Peer review artikel

New RT-PCR Assay for the Detection of Current and Future SARS-CoV-2 Variants


“Multiple lineages of SARS-CoV-2 have been identified featuring distinct sets of genetic changes that confer to the virus higher transmissibility and ability to evade existing immunity. The continuous evolution of SARS-CoV-2 may pose challenges for current treatment options and diagnostic tools. In this study, we have first evaluated the performance of the 14 WHO-recommended real-time reverse transcription (RT)-PCR assays currently in use for the detection of SARS-CoV-2 and found that only one assay has reduced performance against Omicron. We then developed a new duplex real-time RT-PCR assay based on the amplification of two ultra-conserved elements present within the SARS-CoV-2 genome. The new duplex assay successfully detects all of the tested SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern (including Omicron sub-lineages BA.4 and BA.5) from both clinical and wastewater samples with high sensitivity and specificity. The assay also functions as a one-step droplet digital RT-PCR assay. This new assay, in addition to clinical testing, could be adopted in surveillance programs for the routine monitoring of SARS-CoV-2’s presence in a population in wastewater samples. Positive results with our assay in conjunction with negative results from an Omicron-specific assay may provide timely indication of the emergence of a novel SARS-CoV-2 variant in a certain community and thereby aid public health interventions.”

(Citation: Marchini, A., Petrillo, M., Parrish, A., – New RT-PCR Assay for the Detection of Current and Future SARS-CoV-2 Variants – Viruses 15(2023)1, art. no. 206 – DOI: 10.3390/v15010206 – (Open Access))

© 2023 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license

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