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Rapid Scanning Electron Microscopy Detection and Sequencing of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 and Other Respiratory Viruses

Abstract : There is an urgent need for accurate and rapid testing methods to quickly identify infected patients as well as asymptomatic carriers, in order to prevent the spread of emerging viruses. Here, we developed a rapid testing strategy by scanning electron microscopy capable of detecting severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and other respiratory viruses directly from patients. We evaluated our results by comparing them to real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and metagenomic sequencing results. We correlated the presence of the SARS-CoV-2 to the viral load, where samples with Ct values lower than 18 were all detected by scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The sensitivity deacresed progressively with higher Ct values. In addition, we found a correlation with metagenomic sequencing, where all samples detected by SEM were sequenced and viral sequences were easily recovered. Following this study, SEM proved its efficiency as a frontline method for directly detecting previously unknown microorganisms that cannot be targeted by molecular methods and can cause potential outbreaks.
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https://hal-amu.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-03149248
Contributor : Isabelle Combe <>
Submitted on : Monday, February 22, 2021 - 8:01:45 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, February 23, 2021 - 5:44:03 PM

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Anthony Levasseur, Jacques Bou Khalil, Didier Raoult, Gabriel Haddad, Sara Bellali, et al.. Rapid Scanning Electron Microscopy Detection and Sequencing of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 and Other Respiratory Viruses. FRONTIERS IN MICROBIOLOGY, 2020, 11, ⟨10.3389/fmicb.2020.596180⟩. ⟨hal-03149248⟩

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