Mem Inst Oswaldo Cruz, Rio de Janeiro, FAST TRACK
Short communication

SARS-CoV-2 diagnostic diary: from rumors to the first case. Early reports of molecular tests from the military research and diagnostic institute of Rio de Janeiro

Marcio da Costa Cipitelli, Elizabeth Valentin, Nadia Vaez Gonçalves da Cruz, Tatiana LS Nogueira, Elaine Amaro, Rebeca Silva, Marcos Dornelas-Ribeiro, Caleb GM Santos+

Instituto de Biologia do Exército, Rio de Janeiro RJ, Brasil

DOI: 10.1590/0074-02760200200
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According to the World Health Organization (WHO) viral diseases such as COVID-19 represent a serious threat to global health. Regarding this recent pandemic we present a historical timeline of last months in a diagnostic lab. Initially, an alert was issued to us on January 22 (D) about the COVID-19cases in Brazil. In line with international standards, 30 days after (D30), the primers and probes for quantitative Polimerase Chain Reaction recommended by WHO were in silico tested and obtained by our institute. The first case of the new coronavirus in Brazil was confirmed in D36, on D44 the first case was confirmed in our state and on D56 our institute diagnosed the firstcase. Subsequently, on D66 the first two positive cases of members from our institute were reported and on D74 the first member of our molecular diagnosis team (MDT) tested positive. Until D84 (~4%) of our institute members tested positive. In our conditions, after around 900 tests, we recommend the combination of N1/N2 primer sets (CDC protocol) for preliminary assays and mandatory confirmation for positive results using Charité protocol. Moreover, we recommend that every professional be tested before starting work, in addition to weekly tests for everyone involved preventing the reduction of ability to respond to the pandemic. For the future, the widespread utilization of new sequencing technologies may be powerful tool in detecting the real pathogens in every sample, coinfections, multiple strains, phylogenomical, and phylogeographical interpretations and will contribute to faster and more accurate responses in epidemics.

Financial support: Brazilian Army
MDR and CGMS contributed equally to this work.
+ Corresponding author:
Received 28 April 2020
Accepted 30 Apr 2020

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