Fast SARS-CoV-2 detection by RT-qPCR in preheated nasopharyngeal swab samples

This “short communications” paper published in the International Journal of Infectious Diseases describes the results of simplifying reverse transcription and real-time quantitative PCR (RT-qPCR) analyses for SARS-CoV-2 by skipping the RNA extraction step and instead testing three different types of direct heating of the nasopharyngeal swab. Among the three methods tested—heating directly without additives, heating with a formamide-EDTA buffer, and heating with an RNAsnap buffer—the direct heating method “provided the best results, which were highly consistent with the SARS-CoV-2 infection diagnosis based on standard RNA extraction,” while also processing nearly half the time. The authors warn, however, that “choice of RT-qPCR kits might have an impact on the sensitivity of the Direct protocol” when trying to replicate their results.

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