The spread of delta variants (B.1.671.2) of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is a severe global threat. Multiplex real-time PCR is a common method for confirming SARS-CoV-2 infection, however, additional tests, such as whole genomic sequencing, are required to reveal the presence or type of viral mutation. Moreover, applying whole genomic sequencing to all SARS-CoV-2 positive samples is challenging due to time and cost constraints. Here, we report that the double or low amplification curve observed during RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp) gene/S gene amplification in the Allplex SARS-CoV-2 Assay is related to delta/alpha variants. We analyzed the RdRp/S gene amplification curve using 94 samples confirmed as SARS-CoV-2 infection by the Allplex SARS-CoV-2 Assay from January to August, 2021. These positive samples identified variant types using the Novaplex SARS-CoV-2 Variants I and IV Assays. Overall, 17 samples showing a double curve and 11 samples showing a low amplification pattern were associated with alpha-/ delta-type strains with variants in the P681 region. The double or low curve shown in the RdRp gene amplification curve had 100% sensitivity and 100% specificity for diagnosing delta/alpha variants. During the SARS-CoV-2 virus diagnostic RT-PCR test using the Allplex SARS-CoV-2 Assay, we could consider the presence of delta/alpha variants in the samples with double or low amplification curve of the RdRp/S gene channel. This PCR amplification curve abnormality enables rapid and cost-effective variant type prediction during SARS-CoV-2 diagnostic testing in clinical laboratories.
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© 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.
- Allplex SARS-CoV-2 Assay
- Amplification curve
- Spike gene