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Could pooled samples method affect SARS-CoV-2 diagnosis accuracy using BGI and Sansure-Biotech RT-PCR kits used in Gabon, Central Africa?

Abstract : This study aims at establishing specimens pooling approach for the detection of SARS-CoV-2 using the RT-PCR BGI and Sansure-Biotech kits used in Gabon. To validate this approach, 14 positive samples, stored at -20°C for three to five weeks were analyzed individually (as gold standard) and in pools of five, eight and ten in the same plate. We created 14 pools of 5, 8 and 10 samples using 40 μL from each of the selected positive samples mixed with 4, 7 and 9 confirmed negative counterparts in a total volume of 200 μL, 320 μL and 400 μL for the pools of 5, 8 and 10 respectively. Both individual and pooled samples testing was conducted according to the BGI and Sansure-Biotech RT-PCR protocols used at the Professor Daniel Gahouma Laboratory (PDGL). Furthermore, the pooling method was also tested by comparing results of 470 unselected samples tested in 94 pools and individually. Results of our experiment showed that using a BGI single positive sample with cycle threshold (Ct) value of 28.42, confirmed by individual testing, detection occurred in all the pools. On the contrary samples with Ct >31 were not detected in pools of 10 and for these samples (Ct value as high as 37.17) their detection was possible in pool of 8. Regarding the Sansure-Biotech kit, positive samples were detected in all the pool sizes tested, irrespective of their Ct values. The specificity of the pooling method was 100% for the BGI and Sansure-Biotech RT-PCR assays. The present study found an increase in the Ct values with pool size for the BGI and Sansure-Biotech assays. This trend was statistically significant (Pearson’s r = 0.978; p = 0,022) using the BGI method where the mean Ct values were 24.04±1.1, 26.74±1.3, 27.91±1.1 and 28.32±1.1 for the individual, pool of 5, 8 and 10 respectively. The testing of the 470 samples showed that one of the 94 pools had a positive test similar to the individual test using the BGI and Sansure-Biotech kits. The saving of time and economizing test reagents by using the pooling method were demonstrated in this study. Ultimately, the pooling method could be used for the diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2 without modifying the accuracy of results in Gabon. We recommend a maximum pool size of 8 for the BGI kit. For the Sansure-Biotech kit, a maximum pool size of 10 can be used without affecting its accuracy compared to the individual testing.
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https://hal-unilim.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-03692291
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Soumis le : jeudi 9 juin 2022 - 16:25:55
Dernière modification le : vendredi 10 juin 2022 - 03:41:16

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Rodrigue Mintsa-Nguema, Samira Zoa-Assoumou, Ludovic Mewono, Noé M’bondoukwé, Paulin Essono, et al.. Could pooled samples method affect SARS-CoV-2 diagnosis accuracy using BGI and Sansure-Biotech RT-PCR kits used in Gabon, Central Africa?. PLoS ONE, Public Library of Science, 2022, 17 (1), pp.e0262733. ⟨10.1371/journal.pone.0262733⟩. ⟨hal-03692291⟩

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