Investigation of Different Commercially Available Real Time-Polymerase Chain Reaction Kits for SARS-CoV-2 Diagnosis
Dr. Rajeev Kumar Jain,
Gandhi Medical College, Sultania Road, Bhopal-462001, Madhya Pradesh, India.
Introduction: The whole world is facing an ongoing global health emergency of COVID-19 disease caused by the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2). Real-Time Reverse Transcription-Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) is a gold standard in the detection of SARS-CoV-2 infection. Presently, many single tube multiple gene target RTPCR kits have been developed and are commercially available for Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) diagnosis.
Aim: To evaluate the performance of seven COVID-19 RT-PCR kits (DiagSure, Meril, VIRALDTECT II, TruPCR, Q-line, Allplex and TaqPath) which are commercially available for COVID-19 RT-PCR diagnosis.
Materials and Methods: This observational study was conducted at the State Virology Laboratory (SVL), Gandhi Medical College, Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, India. Seven commercially available kits have been evaluated on the basis of: (i) number of SARS-CoV-2 specific gene target; (ii) human housekeeping genes as internal control; (iii) RT-PCR run time; and (iv) kit performances to correctly detect SARS-CoV-2 positive and negative RNA samples. A total of 50 RNA samples (left over RNA) were included, master mix preparation, template addition and RT-PCR test has been performed according to kits literature. At the end of PCR run, mean and standard deviation of obtained cut-off of all kits were calculated using Microsoft Excel.
Results: All seven RT-PCR kits performed satisfactory regarding the reproducibility and they could correctly identify 30 positive and 20 negative RNA samples. RNA samples (group C) having low viral loads with a high Cycle threshold (Ct) value (>30) were also detected by all these seven kits. Obtained Ct values of each group was in parallel range in comparison with the initial testing Ct values. Kits were found to be superior which contains primers and probes for three SARS-CoV-2 specific gene targets, have human housekeeping gene as internal control and taking less time to complete RT-PCR.
Conclusion: All seven COVID-19 RT-PCR kits included in this study demonstrated satisfactory performance and can be used for the routine molecular diagnosis of COVID-19 disease.