The outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), which causes coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19), has severely influenced public health and economics. For the detection of SARS-CoV-2, clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR)-CRISPR associated protein (Cas)-based assays have been emerged because of their simplicity, sensitivity, specificity, and wide applicability. Herein, we have developed a CRISPR-Cas12-based assay for the detection of SARS-CoV-2. In the assay, the target amplicons are produced by isothermal reverse transcription recombinase polymerase amplification (RT-RPA) and recognized by a CRISPR-Cas12a/guide RNA (gRNA) complex that is coupled with the collateral cleavage activity of fluorophore-tagged probes, allowing either a fluorescent measurement or naked-eye detection on a lateral flow paper strip. This assay enables the sensitive detection of SARS-CoV-2 at a low concentration of 10 copies per sample. Moreover, the reliability of the method is verified by using nasal swabs and sputum of COVID-19 patients. We also proved that the current assay can be applied to other viruses, such as Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) and severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV), with no major changes to the basic scheme of testing. It is anticipated that the CRISPR-Cas12-based assay has the potential to serve as a point-of-care testing (POCT) tool for a wide range of infectious viruses.
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© 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Analytical Chemistry
- Biomedical Engineering
- Engineering (miscellaneous)
- Clinical Biochemistry