Microbiology Time

In this edition, we selected two Italian studies and a Canadian research paper. Self-collected vaginal samples for molecular assays, SARS-Cov-2 detection from rectal and nasal swabs, and buccal swabbing for BRCA testing: enjoy your reading, and see you in a Month!

  • The first Italian study evaluated the BD Onclarity™ HPV assay standard protocol on samples other than liquid-phase cytology samples: vaginal and first-void urine specimens. The researchers enrolled 64 women with cervical dysplasia and made them perform a vaginal self-collection and collect a first-void urine sample. By analyzing these samples with the BD Onclarity™ HPV assay and comparing the results with a cervical specimen collected during the clinician examination, the researchers showed a substantial agreement between both self-collected and clinician-collected samples, confirming the accuracy of available BD Onclarity™ HPV assay on self-collected samples.
  • A research brief by Adriana M. Airo and colleagues analyzed the performance of combined nasal/rectal swabs for SARS-CoV-2 detection. This sampling approach is already used to screen new hospital admissions for MRSA and could provide a low-impact SARS-CoV-2 screening method in these patients. Unfortunately, the results showed that combined nasal/rectal swabs can be used to detect SARS-CoV-2, but performed poorly compared with paired nasopharyngeal swabs. Second, a retrospective analysis did not demonstrate an association between a patient’s disease severity and the detection of SARSCoV-2 in the N/R swab. Concluding, nasal/rectal swabs lack sensitivity and are insufficient as the sole specimen for the diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2.
  • BRCA genetic testing allows patients with ovarian cancer to receive appropriate medical management and prevention strategies. The second Italian study assessed the suitability of buccal swabs as the DNA source alternative to blood collection for next-generation sequencing-based BRCA genotyping. Matched self-collected buccal swabs and blood samples were collected from high-grade serous ovarian cancer patients. BRCA genes were amplified and sequenced on the Illumina MiSeq platform. Comparable sequencing parameters and overall concordance of 100% in both polymorphisms and pathogenic variants between the two DNA sources were observed. Data from this study support this alternative, convenient, and non-invasive sampling method of BRCA testing, which facilitate access to care without compromising patient outcomes.

Read the studies below: