Evaluation of the SMARTCHEK Genesystem RT-qPCR assay for the detection of SARS-CoV-2 in clinical samples

Diana Flores-León, Willi Quino, Alejandra E. Cúneo, Junior Caro-Castro, Evans Cucho-Meza, Ronnie G. Gavilan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: The COVID-19 pandemic remains the main public health problem, due to the quick and easy dissemination of the causal agent, SARS-CoV-2 virus, around the world. Since the beginning of the pandemic, an opportune laboratory diagnosis has been critical to respond this emergency, and RT-qPCR has been used as reference molecular tests for detection of SARS-CoV-2. Methods: In this study, we performed the evaluation of a RT-qPCR SMARTCHEK platform (SMARTCHEK, Genesystem) for SARS-CoV-2 detection based on the amplification of RdRp and N gene markers. The platform was evaluated with nasopharyngeal swab samples corresponding to 360 suspected cases of COVID-19 which were remitted to Instituto Nacional de Salud in Peru. This quick method was compared with conventional RT-qPCR as gold standard. Results: The RT-qPCR SMARTCHEK showed a 98.1% sensitivity (CI: 93.3–99.8%), a 98.8% specificity (CI: 96.6–99.8%), a 97.2% positive predictive value (CI: 92–99.4%) and a 99.2% negative predictive value (CI: 97.2—99.9%). The assay demonstrated a strong agreement between the RT-qPCR SMARTCHEK and conventional RT-qPCR (kappa value ≥ 0.966). Conclusion: The RT-qPCR SMARTCHEK is a platform that gives reliable and fast results, with high sensitivity and specificity for the detection of SARS-CoV-2, and it will be considered a suitable alternative to COVID-19 diagnosis in low-resource settings.

Original languageEnglish
Article number329
JournalBMC Infectious Diseases
Volume22
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2022
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • COVID-19
  • Molecular diagnosis
  • RT-qPCR
  • SARS-CoV-2

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