Monday, August 10, 2020

A Public Website for the Automated Assessment and Validation of SARS-CoV-2 Diagnostic PCR Assays

Abstract
Summary
Polymerase chain reaction-based assays are the current gold standard for detecting and diagnosing SARS-CoV-2. However, as SARS-CoV-2 mutates, we need to constantly assess whether existing PCR-based assays will continue to detect all known viral strains. To enable the continuous monitoring of SARS-CoV-2 assays, we have developed a web-based assay validation algorithm that checks existing PCR-based assays against the ever-expanding genome databases for SARS-CoV-2 using both thermodynamic and edit-distance metrics. The assay screening results are displayed as a heatmap, showing the number of mismatches between each detection and each SARS-CoV-2 genome sequence. Using a mismatch threshold to define detection failure, assay performance is summarized with the true positive rate (recall) to simplify assay comparisons.
Availability and implementation
The assay evaluation website and supporting software are Open Source and freely available at https://covid19.edgebioinformatics.org/#/assayValidation, https://github.com/jgans/thermonucleotideBLAST, and https://github.com/LANL-Bioinformatics/assay_validation.
Supplementary information
Supplementary dataSupplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online. https://ift.tt/2XPRhFn

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