The effect of q-RT-PCR analysis method on saline gargle samples in SARS-CoV-2 clinical diagnostic methods
Selen Zeliha Mart Komurcu 1 , Yakup Artik 2 * , Yavuz Uyar 3 , Nedret Hizel 4 , Haydar Sur 5 , Zeynal Abidin Kocadag 6 , Serkan Dogan 1 , Nevra Pelin Cesur 7 , Cemal Kazezoglu 1
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1 Republic of Turkey, Ministry of Health, Istanbul Provincial Directorate of Health, University of Health Science, Kanuni Sultan Suleiman Training and Research Hospital, 34303, Kücükcekmece, Istanbul, TURKEY2 Republic of Turkey, Ministry of Health, Health Institutes of Turkey (TUSEB), COVID‐19 Diagnostic Center, Istanbul Provincial Directorate of Health, University of Health Sciences, Kanuni Sultan Suleyman Training and Research Hospital, 34303, Istanbul, Kucukcekmece, TURKEY3 Tekirdag Namik Kemal University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Microbiology, 59100, Tekirdag, TURKEY4 Usküdar University, Faculty of Medicine, Medical Biochemistry, 34662, Uskudar, Istanbul, TURKEY5 Uskudar University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health, 34662, Uskudar, Istanbul, TURKEY6 Uskudar University, Faculty of Medicine, Health Care Management Department, 34662, Uskudar, Istanbul, TURKEY7 Yildiz Technical University, Molecular Biology and Genetics Department, 34220, Esenler, Istanbul, TURKEY* Corresponding Author


COVID‑19 is a devastating disease, and its control is difficult due to its high transmissibility rate and a long incubation average period (6.4 days). Additionally, more than half of the infected patients were asymptomatic young people or children. The asymptomatic virus transmission is the actual challenge to controlling the disease. Because of limited treatment options, diagnosis techniques have been the first focus all over the world, involving q-RT-PCR as a gold standard, serological tests, point of care studies, or RT-LAMP. Generally, nasopharyngeal, and oropharyngeal samples are preferred clinically as sources. However, alternative sources are being researched, particularly for healthcare professionals who have difficulty taking samples, patients who are afraid of giving samples, and pediatric patients. Herein, physiological saline has been utilized to offer an alternative source besides the swab samples for use in q-RT-PCR. In this study, 212 randomly chosen patients’ samples were studied, and we evaluated the concordance and accurate q-RT-PCR results in two different sources, obtained from swab and gargle samples of patients. Herein, physiological saline is utilized, which is widely used medically as a recommended irrigating and wound dressing solution. We obtained in our experiments with this method, the confidence interval determines 74.50% positivity when compared to the routine q-RT-PCR procedure as summarized. In addition, when only the gargle sampling method is studied in low-income countries, the cost of testing for COVID-19 will decrease significantly. Because this method does not require vNAT or VTM transport solution sterile swab sticks as shown. The plastic container with a lid in which the patient can gargle with SF and spit it out is an ideal method for this. Additionally, it provides a great cost-benefit in low-income countries.


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Article Type: Original Article

ELECTRON J GEN MED, 2022, Volume 19, Issue 6, Article No: em418

Publication date: 06 Oct 2022

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