Single vs replicate Real-Time PCR SARS-CoV-2 testing: Lessons learned for effective pandemic management.

Journal article


Webb, W., Thapa, Gauri, Tirnoveanu, Alice, Kallu, Sabrina, Loo Jin Yi, Charlene, Shah, Nirali, Macari, Joseph, Mitchell, Sadie, Fagg, Graham J, Jeremiah, Rachael N, Theminimulle, Sandiya, Vuono, Romina and Mylona, A. 2022. Single vs replicate Real-Time PCR SARS-CoV-2 testing: Lessons learned for effective pandemic management. PLoS ONE. 17 (7), p. e0269883. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0269883
AuthorsWebb, W., Thapa, Gauri, Tirnoveanu, Alice, Kallu, Sabrina, Loo Jin Yi, Charlene, Shah, Nirali, Macari, Joseph, Mitchell, Sadie, Fagg, Graham J, Jeremiah, Rachael N, Theminimulle, Sandiya, Vuono, Romina and Mylona, A.
AbstractCoronavirus Disease 19 (COVID-19) caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus remains a global pandemic having a serious impact on national economies and healthcare infrastructure. Accurate infection detection protocols are key to policy guidance and decision making. In this pilot study, we compared single versus replicate PCR testing for effective and accurate SARS-CoV-2 infection detection. One-Step Real-Time RT-PCR was employed for the detection of SARS-CoV-2 RNA isolated from individual nasopharyngeal swabs. A total of 10,014 swabs, sampled from the general public (hospital admissions, A&E, elective surgeries, cancer patients, care home residents and healthcare staff), were tested using standard replicate testing. Our analysis demonstrates that approximately 19% of SARS-CoV-2 infected individuals would have been reported as false negative if single sample Real-Time PCR testing was used. Therefore, two replicate tests can substantially decrease the risk of false negative reporting and reduce hospital and community infection rates. As the number of variants of concern increases, we believe that replicate testing is an essential consideration for effective SARS-CoV-2 infection detection and prevention of further outbreaks. A strategic approach limiting the number of missed infections is crucial in controlling the rise of new SARS-CoV-2 variants as well as the management of future pandemics.
KeywordsReal-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction; SARS-CoV-2 - genetics; Pilot Projects; Pandemics - prevention & control; Humans; COVID-19 - diagnosis - epidemiology; RNA, Viral - genetics
Year2022
JournalPLoS ONE
Journal citation17 (7), p. e0269883
PublisherPLoS
ISSN1932-6203
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0269883
https://doi.org/PONE-D-21-40437
Official URLhttps://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0269883
Publication dates
Print14 Jul 2022
Online14 Jul 2022
Publication process dates
Deposited18 Jul 2022
Accepted29 May 2022
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Output statusPublished
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https://repository.canterbury.ac.uk/item/917v2/single-vs-replicate-real-time-pcr-sars-cov-2-testing-lessons-learned-for-effective-pandemic-management

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