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Reverse transcription loop-mediated isothermal amplification combined with nanoparticles-based biosensor for diagnosis of COVID-19

By Xiong Zhu, Xiaoxia Wang, Limei Han, Ting Chen, Licheng Wang, Huan Li, Anne Vassalli, Lvfen He, Xiaoying Fu, Shaojin Chen, Mei Xing, Hai Chen, Yi Wang

Posted 20 Mar 2020
medRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2020.03.17.20037796

Given the scale and rapid spread of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2, known as 2019-nCov) infection (COVID-19), the ongoing global SARS-CoV-2 outbreak has become a huge public health issue. Rapid and precise diagnostic methods are thus immediately needed for diagnosing COVID-19, providing timely treatment and facilitating infection control. A one-step reverse transcription loop-mediated isothermal amplification (RT-LAMP) coupled with nanoparticles-based biosensor (NBS) assay (RT-LAMP-NBS) was successfully established for rapidly and accurately diagnosing COVID-19. A simple equipment (such as heating block) was required for maintaining a constant temperature (63{degrees}C) for only 40 min. Using two designed LAMP primer sets, F1ab (opening reading frame 1a/b) and np (nucleoprotein) genes of SARS-CoV-2 were simultaneously amplified and detected in a one-step and single-tube reaction, and the detection results were easily interpreted by NBS. The sensitivity of SARS-CoV-2 RT-LAMP-NBS was 12 copies (each of detection target) per reaction, and no cross-reactivity was generated from non-SARS-CoV-2 templates. Among clinically diagnosed COVID-19 patients, the analytical sensitivity of SARS-CoV-2 was 100% (33/33) in the oropharynx swab samples, and the assays specificity was also 100% (96/96) when analyzed the clinical samples collected from non-COVID-19 patients. The total diagnosis test from sample collection to result interpretation only takes approximately 1 h. In sum, the RT-LAMP-NBS is a promising tool for diagnosing the current SARS-CoV-2 infection in first line field, public health and clinical laboratories, especially for resource-challenged regions.

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