Comments on Kämmerer, et al. (2023) regarding RT-PCR Testing
Keywords:COVID-19 disease, NAAT, nucleic acid amplification testing, RT-PCR
Kämmerer et al., (2023) reviewed the trustworthiness of Reverse Transcription – Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) and sought to solve the serious problems that remain challenging its use and the significance of its application for the diagnosis of COVID-19 infections. They proposed certain modifications which they argued will enable more precise and trustworthy diagnostic results. However, this paper has a clear focus on the technical aspect of RT-PCR, which is only one piece of the COVID-19 puzzle, while there are other equally important pieces still missing. In order to establish what could correctly be judged as a true positive diagnosis, one sharply distinct from a false positive diagnosis, it is necessary to consider additional details. We believe their recommendations amount only to a partial solution to the deeper problems their work implicates. We propose to look at the larger perspective: to start from the very beginning, that is the definition of COVID-19 disease.
Ai, T., Yang, Z., Hou, H., Zhan, C., Chen, C., Lv, W., Tao, Q., Sun, Z., & Xia, L. (2020). Correlation of Chest CT and RT-PCR Testing in Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) in China: A Report of 1014 Cases. Radiology Feb 26:200642. https://doi.org/10.1148/radiol.2020200642
CDC (2021). Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). Case Definition https://ndc.services.cdc.gov/case-definitions/coronavirus-disease-2019-2021/
ECDC (2020) Case definition for COVID-19, as of 3 December 2020. https://www.ecdc.europa.eu/en/covid-19/surveillance/case-definition
Kämmerer, U., Pekova, S., Klement, R., Louwen, R., Borger, P., & Steger, K. (2023). RT-PCR test targeting the conserved 5’-UTR of SARS-CoV-2 overcomes shortcomings of the first WHO-recommended RT-PCR test. International Journal of Vaccine Theory, Practice, and Research, 3(1), 818-846. https://doi.org/10.56098/ijvtpr.v3i1.71
Killingley, B., Mann, A.J., Kalinova, M., Boyers, A., Goonawardane, N., Zhou, J., Lindsell, K., Hare, S.S., Brown, J., Frise, R., Smith, E., Hopkins, C., … Chiu C. (2022). Safety, tolerability and viral kinetics during SARS-CoV-2 human challenge in young adults. Nature Medicine, 28(5):1031-1041. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41591-022-01780-9
Lu, R., Zhao, X., Li, J., Niu, P., Yang, B., Wu, H., Wang, W., Song, H., Huang, B., Zhu, N., Bi, Y., ... Tan W.. (2020). Genomic characterization and epidemiology of 2019 novel coronavirus: implications for virus origins and receptor binding. Lancet 395:565–574. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(20)30251-8
Polack, F.P., Thomas,S.J., Kitchin, N., Absalon, J., Gurtman, A., Lockhart, S., Perez, J.L., Marc, G.P., Moreira, E.D., Zerbini, C., Bailey, R., Swanson, K.A., et al., for the C4591001 Clinical Trial Group (2020). Safety and Efficacy of the BNT162b2 mRNA Covid-19 Vaccine pneumonia in China. New England Journal of Medicine 382:727 383:2603-15. https://doi.org/10.1056/NEJMoa2034577
Ren, L.L., Wang, Y.M., Wu, Z.Q., Xiang, Z.C., Guo, L., Xu, T., Jiang, Y.-Z., Xiong, Y., Li, Y.-J., Li, X.-W., Li, H., Fan, G.-H., Gu, X.-Y., … Wang, J.-W. (2020). Identification of a novel coronavirus causing severe pneumonia in human: a descriptive study. Chinese Medical Journal 133:1015–1024. https://doi.org/10.1097/CM9.0000000000000722
Struyf, T., Deeks, J.J., Dinnes, J., Takwoingi, Y., Davenport, C., Leeflang, M.M.G., Spijker R., Hooft, L., Emperador, D., Dittrich, S., Domen, J., Horn, S. R. A., Ann Van den Bruel, A., Cochrane COVID-19 Diagnostic Test Accuracy Group. (2020). Signs and symptoms to determine if a patient presenting in primary care or hospital outpatient settings has COVID-19 disease. Cochrane Database Systematic Reviews 7:CD013665. https://doi.org/10.1002/14651858.CD013665
WHO (2020) COVID case definition (July 22, 2020). https://www.who.int/publications/i/item/WHO-2019-nCoV-Surveillance_Case_Definition-2022.1
Zhu, N., Zhang, D., Wang, W., Li, X., Yang, B., Song, J. Zhao, X., Huang, B., Shi, W., Roujian Lu, R., Niu, P., ... Tan, W., for the China Novel Coronavirus Investigating and Research Team. (2020). A novel coronavirus from patients with pneumonia in China. New England Journal of Medicine 382:727-733. https://doi.org/10.1056/NEJMoa2001017
How to Cite
Copyright (c) 2023 Fabio Franchi, Jerneja Tomsic
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
The copyright for materials in this journal, IJVTPR, is owned by the author. The author, however, grants first right of publication to the journal, IJVTPR and assures the editorial staff of the journal that the work submitted has not simultaneously been submitted to any other journal, nor is it under consideration for publication by any other journal. If any portion of the work submitted has appeared elsewhere, the quoted material is properly cited and credit is given to the original publisher. The submitting author (or the principal and corresponding author of the work) also assures the editors of IJVTPR that he or she has obtained all required written permissions from any quoted authors or publishers of quoted materials. The submitting author also agrees to hold IJVTPR and its editorial staff harmless from any infractions of copyright law that may be discovered at any time in the future in the submitted work. The author assures the editorial staff at IJVTPR that none of the work submitted is plagiarized, and that any recycled or precycled material by the author is identified as such with proper credits in the text to any other parties holding a copyright interest in the quoted material.