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Evaluation of the Analytical Performance of the Fully Automated Gene Analyzer µTASWako g1 for the Detection of SARS-CoV-2 by Hirofumi Toda, Yuji Tanaka, Kenji Yamade, Mayu Tsujimoto, Haruka Takada, Minoru Ueno, Yoshihiro Tsuda, Yoshizumi Kishino, Shuichi Kubo, Toshinori Kamisako, Koichiro Yoshida

Background: The worldwide spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has led to an urgent need for nucleic acid amplification test (NAAT) for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Because NAAT has many manual processes, results may vary depending on the operator. Therefore, it has been required to develop a fully automated testing device and reagent that detects genetic material from SARS-CoV-2. The µTASWako g1 system (FUJIFILM Wako Pure Chemical Corporation, Osaka, Japan), a genetic analyzer, provides results in 75 minutes by performing a fully automated PCR process.
Methods: We evaluated the analytical and clinical performance of the µTASWako g1 system for the detection of SARS-CoV-2 RNA.
Results: The µTASWako g1 system had the limit of detection at 2,000 copies/mL using a known concentration of RNA. In clinical samples, the µTASWako g1 system had a sensitivity of 88.0% and 100% specificity compared to conventional RT-PCR. The µTAS Wako g1 system could detect three variants of concern carrying spike mutations including N501Y, E484K, and L452R.
Conclusions: As the assay on the µTASWako g1 system is highly accurate for the detection of SARS-CoV-2 regardless of the experience of operator, it can be widely applicable in clinical laboratories.

DOI: 10.7754/Clin.Lab.2022.220513