This is the retraction-request letter sent to Eurosurveillance by the main & co-author’s, written by Dr. Peter Borger, enclosed to the extended Review Report submission via the Eurosurveillance online-submission portal. Submission date was 27th November 2020.
Nov 26th 2020,
To: Editorial Board Eurosurveillance
European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC)
Gustav III:s Boulevard 40
Subject: External Review and request to retract the paper of Corman et al, published in Eurosurveillance January 23, 2020.
Dear editorial board Eurosurveillance,
We, an international consortium of life-science scientists, write this letter in response to the article “Detection of 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) by real-time RT-PCR” published in Eurosurveillance (January 23rd, 2020) and co-authored by Victor M Corman , Olfert Landt , Marco Kaiser , Richard Molenkamp, Adam Meijer, Daniel KW Chu, Tobias Bleicker , Sebastian Brünink, Julia Schneider , Marie Luisa Schmidt , Daphne GJC Mulders , Bart L Haagmans , Bas van der Veer , Sharon van den Brink, Lisa Wijsman, Gabriel Goderski, Jean-Louis Romette, Joanna Ellis, Maria Zambon, Malik Peiris, Herman Goossens, Chantal Reusken, Marion PG Koopmans, and Christian Drosten.
This paper (hereafter referred to as “Corman-Drosten paper”), published by “Eurosurveillance” on 23 January 2020, describes an RT-PCR method to detect the novel Corona virus (also known as SARS-CoV2). After careful consideration, our international consortium of Life Science scientists found the Corman-Drosten paper is severely flawed with respect to its biomolecular and methodological design. A detailed scientific argumentation can be found in our review “External peer review of the RTPCR test to detect SARS-CoV2 reveals 10 major scientific flaws at the molecular and methodological level: consequences for false positive results”, which we herewith submit for publication in Eurosurveillance.
Further, the submission date and acceptance date of this paper are January 21st and January 22nd, respectively. Considering the severe errors in design and methodology of the RT-PCR test published by “Eurosurveillance”, this raises the concern whether the paper was subjected to peer-review at all.
A previous request from our side (Dr. P. Borger; email 26/10/2020) to the editors of “Eurosurveillance” to provide the peer review report of the Corman-Drosten paper has not been complied with. We have enclosed your email reply (dated 18/11/2020) indicating that you do not wish to disclose important information to solve this conundrum.
We are confident that you will take our scientific objections seriously and recognize that there is no alternative but to accept our request to retract the Corman-Drosten paper.
Dr. Pieter Borger (MSc, PhD), Molecular Genetics, W+W Research Associate, Lörrach, Germany
Prof. Dr. Ulrike Kämmerer, specialist in Virology / Immunology / Human Biology / Cell Biology, University Hospital Würzburg, Germany
Prof. Dr. Klaus Steger, Department of Urology, Pediatric Urology and Andrology, Molecular Andrology, Biomedical Research Center of the Justus Liebig University, Giessen, Germany
Prof. Dr. Makoto Ohashi, Professor emeritus, PhD in Microbiology and Immunology, Tokushima University, Japan
Prof. Dr. med. Henrik Ullrich, specialist Diagnostic Radiology, Chief Medical Doctor at the Center for Radiology of Collm Oschatz-Hospital, Germany
Rajesh K. Malhotra (Artist Alias: Bobby Rajesh Malhotra), Former 3D Artist / Scientific Visualizations at CeMM – Center for Molecular Medicine of the Austrian Academy of Sciences (2019-2020), University for Applied Arts – Department for Digital Arts Vienna, Austria
Dr. Michael Yeadon BSs(Hons) Biochem Tox U Surrey, PhD Pharmacology U Surrey. Managing Director, Yeadon Consulting Ltd, former Pfizer Chief Scientist, United Kingdom
Dr. Kevin P. Corbett, MSc Nursing (Kings College London) PhD (London South Bank) Social Sciences (Science & Technology Studies) London, England, UK
Dr. Clare Craig MA, (Cantab) BM, BCh (Oxon), FRCPath, United Kingdom
Kevin McKernan, BS Emory University, Chief Scientific Officer, founder Medical Genomics, engineered the sequencing pipeline at WIBR/MIT for the Human Genome Project, Invented and developed the SOLiD sequencer, awarded patents related to PCR, DNA Isolation and Sequencing, USA
Dr. Lidiya Angelova, MSc in Biology, PhD in Microbiology, Former researcher at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), Maryland, USA
Dr. Fabio Franchi, Former Dirigente Medico (M.D) in an Infectious Disease Ward, specialized in “Infectious Diseases” and “Hygiene and Preventive Medicine”, Società Scientifica per il Principio di Precauzione (SSPP), Italy
Dr. med. Thomas Binder, Internist and Cardiologist (FMH), Switzerland
Dr. Stefano Scoglio, B.Sc. Ph.D., Microbiologist, Nutritionist, Italy
Dr. Paul McSheehy (BSc, PhD), Biochemist & Industry Pharmacologist, Loerrach, Germany
Dr. Marjolein Doesburg-van Kleffens, (MSc, PhD), specialist in Laboratory Medicine (clinical chemistry), Maasziekenhuis Pantein, Beugen, the Netherlands
Dr. Dorothea Gilbert (MSc, PhD), PhD Environmental Chemistry and Toxicology. DGI Consulting Services, Oslo, Norway
Dr. Rainer Klement, PhD. Department of Radiation Oncology, Leopoldina Hospital Schweinfurt, Germany
Dr. Ruth Schrüfer, PhD, human genetics/ immunology, Munich, Germany,
Dra. Berber W. Pieksma, General Practitioner, The Netherlands,
Drs. Jan Bonte (GJ), Consultant Neurologist, the Netherlands, Dr. Bruno
H. Dalle Carbonare (Molecular biologist), IP specialist, BDC Basel,