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Identification of Hotspot Mutations in the N Gene of SARS-CoV-2 in Russian Clinical Samples That May Affect the Detection by Reverse Transcription-PCR

1
Federal State Budget Institution “National Research Centre for Epidemiology and Microbiology Named after Honorary Academician N.F. Gamaleya” of the Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation, 123098 Moscow, Russia
2
OOO “DNA-Technology”, 117587 Moscow, Russia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Elizabeth Soilleux
Diagnostics 2022, 12(1), 147; https://doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics12010147
Received: 8 December 2021 / Revised: 28 December 2021 / Accepted: 4 January 2022 / Published: 8 January 2022
(This article belongs to the Section Diagnostic Microbiology and Infectious Disease)
Sensitive and reliable diagnostic test systems based on real-time PCR are of great importance in the fight against the ongoing SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. The genetic variability of the SARS-CoV-2 virus leads to the accumulation of mutations, some of which may affect the sensitivity of modern PCR assays. The aim of this study was to search in Russian clinical samples for new mutations in SARS-CoV-2 gene N that can affect the detection by RT-PCR. In this study, the polymorphisms in the regions of the target gene N causing failed or poor detection of the target N in the RT-PCR assay on 12 selected samples were detected. Sequencing the entire N and E genes in these samples along with other 195 samples that were positive for both target regions was performed. Here, we identified a number of nonsynonymous mutations and one novel deletion in the N gene that affected the ability to detect a target in the N gene as well a few mutations in the E gene of SARS-CoV-2 that did not affect detection. Sequencing revealed that majority of the mutations in the N gene were located in the variable region between positions 193 and 235 aa, inside and nearby the phosphorylated serine-rich region of the protein N. This study highlights the importance of the further characterization of the genetic variability and evolution of gene N, the most common target for detecting SARS-CoV-2. The use of at least two targets for detecting SARS-CoV-2, including one for the E gene, will be necessary for reliable diagnostics. View Full-Text
Keywords: SARS-CoV-2; RT-PCR; E gene; N gene; polymorphism; mutation SARS-CoV-2; RT-PCR; E gene; N gene; polymorphism; mutation
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MDPI and ACS Style

Kiryanov, S.A.; Levina, T.A.; Konopleva, M.V.; Suslov, A.P. Identification of Hotspot Mutations in the N Gene of SARS-CoV-2 in Russian Clinical Samples That May Affect the Detection by Reverse Transcription-PCR. Diagnostics 2022, 12, 147. https://doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics12010147

AMA Style

Kiryanov SA, Levina TA, Konopleva MV, Suslov AP. Identification of Hotspot Mutations in the N Gene of SARS-CoV-2 in Russian Clinical Samples That May Affect the Detection by Reverse Transcription-PCR. Diagnostics. 2022; 12(1):147. https://doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics12010147

Chicago/Turabian Style

Kiryanov, Sergei A., Tatiana A. Levina, Maria V. Konopleva, and Anatoly P. Suslov. 2022. "Identification of Hotspot Mutations in the N Gene of SARS-CoV-2 in Russian Clinical Samples That May Affect the Detection by Reverse Transcription-PCR" Diagnostics 12, no. 1: 147. https://doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics12010147

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