COVID-19 Research Paper Volume 12, Issue 21 pp 20997—21003
Evaluation of droplet digital PCR for quantification of SARS-CoV-2 Virus in discharged COVID-19 patients
- 1 Zhejiang Taizhou Hospital Affiliated to Wenzhou Medical University, Taizhou 317000, China
Received: May 21, 2020 Accepted: August 19, 2020 Published: November 1, 2020https://doi.org/10.18632/aging.104020
How to Cite
Copyright: © 2020 Liu et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
The worldwide severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) outbreak has led to the rapid spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). The quantitative real time PCR (qPCR) is widely used as the gold standard for clinical detection of SARS-CoV-2. However, more and more infected patients are relapsing after discharge, which suggests qPCR may fail to detect the virus in some cases. In this study, we selected 74 clinical samples from 43 recovering inpatients for qPCR and Droplet Digital PCR (ddPCR) synchronous blind detection, and established a cutoff value for ddPCR diagnosis of COVID-19. The results showed that at a cutoff value of 0.04 copies/μL, the ddPCR sensitivity and specificity are 97.6% and 100%, respectively. In addition, we also analyzed 18 retained samples from 9 discharged patients who relapsed. Although qPCR showed all 18 samples to be negative, ddPCR showed 12 to be positive, and there was only one patient with two negative samples; the other eight patients had at least one positive sample. These results indicate that ddPCR could significantly improve the accuracy of COVID-19 diagnosis, especially for discharged patients with a low viral load, and help to reduce misdiagnosis during recovery.