A combined approach of MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry and multivariate analysis as a potential tool for the detection of SARS-CoV-2 virus in nasopharyngeal swabs
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Rocca, María Florencia
Dattero, María Elena
Santos, Leonardo S.
Ledesma, Martín M.
Vay, Carlos Alberto
Prieto, Mónica A.
Avaro, Martín M.
Russo, Mara L.
Nachtigall, Fabiane Manke
Baumeister, Elsa Graciela
Coronavirus disease 2019, known as COVID-19, is caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The early, sensitive and specific detection of SARS-CoV-2 virus is widely recognized as the critical point in responding to the ongoing outbreak. Currently, the diagnosis is based on molecular real time RT-PCR techniques, although their implementation is being threatened due to the extraordinary demand for supplies worldwide. That is why the development of alternative and / or complementary tests becomes so relevant. Here, we exploit the potential of mass spectrometry technology combined with machine learning algorithms, for the detection of COVID-19 positive and negative protein profiles directly from nasopharyngeal swabs samples. According to the preliminary results obtained, accuracy = 67.66 %, sensitivity = 61.76 %, specificity = 71.72 %, and although these parameters still need to be improved to be used as a screening technique, mass spectrometry-based methods coupled with multivariate analysis showed that it is an interesting tool that deserves to be explored as a complementary diagnostic approach due to the low cost and fast performance. However, further steps, such as the analysis of a large number of samples, should be taken in consideration to determine the applicability of the method developed.
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Author Correction: Detection of SARS-CoV-2 in nasal swabs using MALDI-MS (Nature Biotechnology, (2020), 10.1038/s41587-020-0644-7) (2020) Nachtigall, Fabiane M.; Pereira, Alfredo; Trofymchuk, Oleksandra S.; Santos, Leonardo S. (Nature Research, 2020-09-17)An amendment to this paper has been published and can be accessed via a link at the top of the paper.
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