Abstract A SARS-CoV-2 variant B1.1.7 containing a mutation Δ69/70 has spread rapidly in the UK and shows an identifiable profile in ThermoFisher TaqPath RTqPCR (S-gene target failure; SGTF). We analysed recent test data for trends and significance. Linked Ct values for respiratory samples showed that a low Ct for ORF1ab and N were clearly associated with SGTF. Significantly more SGTF samples had higher inferred viral loads between 1×10 7 and 1×10 8. Our conclusion is that patients whose samples exhibit the SGTF profile are more likely to have high viral loads, which may explain higher infectivity and rapidity of spread.
Citation: Michael Kidd, Alex Richter, Angus Best, Nicola Cumley, Jeremy Mirza, Benita Percival, Megan Mayhew, Oliver Megram, Fiona Ashford, Thomas White, Emma Moles-Garcia, Liam Crawford, Andrew Bosworth, Sowsan F Atabani, Tim Plant, Alan McNally, S-variant SARS-CoV-2 lineage B1.1.7 is associated with significantly higher viral loads in samples tested by ThermoFisher TaqPath RT-qPCR, The Journal of Infectious Diseases, 2021;, jiab082, https://doi.org/10.1093/infdis/jiab082