The outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) rapidly reached pandemic levels. Sufficient testing for SARS-CoV-2 has remained essential for tracking and containing the virus. SARS-CoV-2 testing capabilities are still limited in many countries. Here, we explore the use of conventional RNA purification as an alternative to automated systems for detection of SARS-CoV-2 by RT-qPCR. 87 clinical swab specimens were extracted by conventional phenol-chloroform RNA purification and compared to commercial platforms for RNA extraction and the fully integrated Cobas®6800 diagnostic system. Our results show that the conventional RNA extraction is fully comparable to modern automated systems regarding analytical sensitivity and specificity with respect to detection of SARS-CoV-2 as evaluated by RT-qPCR. Moreover, the method is easily scalable and implemented in conventional laboratories as a low cost and suitable alternative to automated systems for the detection of SARS-CoV-2.
- COVID-19 Testing/methods
- Clinical Laboratory Techniques/methods
- Molecular Diagnostic Techniques/methods
- RNA, Viral/genetics
- Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction/methods
- Sensitivity and Specificity
- Specimen Handling/methods