Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 Detection and Assay Development
The emergence of new viral diseases, including the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 (COVID 19), MERS (2015) and SARS (2003) outbreaks, highlights the need for fast methods to detect and identify target viruses at scale. The COVID-19 pandemic also illustrates how research efforts to develop drug treatments or vaccines are accelerated in times of urgent need. The need for supplies and support for scientists working to curtail spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus is urgent and immediate.
Promega supports scientists working to understand the molecular mechanisms by which emerging viruses infect humans and animals, and to develop accurate detection methods. We provide collaborative technical support, nucleic acid purification expertise, amplification products and labeling technologies that streamline workflows and expedite the work of research labs studying coronaviruses and other emerging viral diseases.
Amplification Products for Viral Analysis
qPCR and RT-qPCR
PCR reagents, including qPCR and RT-qPCR products are used to detect and amplify target viral sequences.
XpressAmp™ Direct Amplification Reagents enable direct PCR without prior RNA or DNA extraction. These reagents are used to prepare viral samples for analysis in qPCR or RT-qPCR assays.
The SARS-CoV-2 RT-qPCR Kit for Wastewater is designed to detect SARS-CoV-2 viral RNA in preprocessed wastewater for population surveillance and epidemiological studies.
PCR Reagents and Accessory Products
GoTaq® Probe qPCR and RT-qPCR Systems
Ready-to-use master mixes for probe-based qPCR or RT-qPCR.
A6101, A6102, A6120, A6121, A6110
XpressAmp™ Direct Amplification Reagents
Fast, RNA extraction-free method to prepare viral samples for PCR-based amplification.
SARS-CoV-2 RT-qPCR Kit for Wastewater
Detect SARS-CoV-2 RNA in preprocessed wastewater with high efficiency and sensitivity.
AM2100, AM2110, AM2120, AM2130, CS3174B02, AM2140, CS317417, AM2070, AM2050, AM2060
Direct Amplification from Saliva
Direct Amplification from Viral Transport Media
Viral RNA from VTM using XpressAmp™ lysates: GoTaq® 1-Step RT-qPCR System
Diagne, M. et al. (2020) Dianke virus: A new mesonivirus species isolated from mosquitoes in Eastern Senegal. Virus Research 275, 2 January 2020, 197802.
Alves, M.T. et al. (2018) Mamastrovirus 5 detected in a crab-eating fox (Cerdocyon thous): Expanding wildlife host range of astroviruses. Comparative Immunology, Microbiology and Infectious Diseases 58, 36-43.
qPCR for Detection of Viral RNA:
Cai, M. et al. (2020) The R251K Substitution in Viral Protein PB2 Increases Viral Replication and Pathogenicity of Eurasian Avian-like H1N1 Swine Influenza Viruses. Viruses 12(1), 52.
Viral Structure and Characterization:
Wicht, O. et al. (2014) Proteolytic Activation of the Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Coronavirus Spike Fusion Protein by Trypsin in Cell Culture. J. Virol. 88(14), 7952–7961.
Automated Viral Nucleic Acid Extraction
Maxwell® instruments are used together with Maxwell® Viral Total Nucleic Acid Purification Kits to extract viral nucleic acids from up to 48 samples per run.
Maxwell® RSC Viral Total Nucleic Acid Purification Kit
Viral total nucleic acid extraction from various samples types using the Maxwell® RSC Instrument.
Maxwell® 16 Viral Total Nucleic Acid Purification Kit
Extracts viral RNA and DNA from serum or plasma. Requires Maxwell® 16 Instrument.
Maxwell® CSC Viral Total Nucleic Acid Purification Kit
Viral total nucleic acid extraction from various samples types using the Maxwell® CSC Instruments.
Viral RNA/DNA Concentration and Extraction Kits for Wastewater
Reagents and consumables to concentrate and purify total nucleic acids (TNA) in one convenient kit.
A2991, AS1831, AX9190, A3050, A3060, A3070, A3080
High-Throughput Automation and Manual Purification Chemistries
ReliaPrep™ Viral TNA Miniprep Kit, Custom
The ReliaPrep™ Viral TNA Miniprep Kit, available as a custom order, uses spin columns for rapid centrifugation-based processing of viral samples. See the Application Notes provided below for example protocols.
Maxwell® HT Viral TNA Kit, Custom
The Maxwell® HT Viral TNA Kit uses magnetic resin for easy automation and separation using robotic liquid handlers. The kit can also be used for manual purification in multiwell plates. For example protocols using the Maxwell® HT Viral TNA Kit on Tecan, Hamilton, Eppendorf and Kingfisher robots, and for example manual purification protocols, please review the Application Notes provided below.
Please contact us for information on pricing and availability.
Purification Scale-Up and Automation Support
Promega Field Support Scientists (FSS) are available to help labs implement or optimize automation of viral RNA extraction methods, regardless of the instrumentation platform used.
If you are new to automation, pressed for time, or need help choosing and adapting a viral nucleic acid purification method, we can help. We provide chemistry and instrumentation expertise and will work with you to configure your instrument and optimize the workflow to meet your laboratory's needs.
Viral RNA Extraction Application Notes
ReliaPrep™ Viral TNA Miniprep Kit, Custom
Maxwell® HT Viral TNA Kit
Maxwell® Instrument Purification
Maxwell® RSC Instrument
Maxwell® 16 Instrument
Viral RNA Extraction Using Maxwell® 48:
Jaeger, A.S. et al. (2018) Zika viruses of both African and Asian lineages cause fetal harm in a vertical transmission model. PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases doi: 10.1371/journal. pntd.0007343
Chantal Reusken, C. et al. (2019) Toscana, West Nile, Usutu and tick-borne encephalitis viruses: external quality assessment for molecular detection of emerging neurotropic viruses in Europe, 2017. Euro Surveill. Dec 12; 24(50): 1900051.
Molecular assays using PCR have become the method of choice for viral detection due to their specificity and speed. This article discusses key considerations to take into account during the assay development process, including:
- Guidelines for decisions for extraction, amplification, and detection for assay design
- Links to reference materials, including 2019-COVID primer sequences
- Strategy for future virus detection assay development
“With proper planning and research,
a laboratory can rapidly create a
reproducible method for detection of a
Evaluation of anti-viral drug candidates:
Zhang, L. et al. (2020) Alpha-ketoamides as broad-spectrum inhibitors of coronavirus and enterovirus replication. Structure-based design, synthesis, and activity assessment. J. Med Chem. DOI: 10.1021/ acs.jmedchem.9b01828. Publication Date (Web): 11 Feb 2020
Sheahan, T.P. et al. (2020) Comparative therapeutic efficacy of remdesivir and combination lopinavir, ritonavir, and interferon beta against MERS-CoV. Nature Communications 11, Article number: 222.
Testing for viral antibodies in serum using viral proteins fused to NanoLuc® luciferase:
Wang, W. et al. (2019) A novel luciferase immunosorbent assay performs better than a commercial enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay to detect MERS-CoV specific IgG in humans and animals. Biosafety and Health 1(3), 134–43.
Monitoring viral distribution by bioluminescence imaging:
Shen, L. et al. (2019) High-Throughput Screening and Identification of Potent Broad-Spectrum Inhibitors of Coronaviruses. DOI: 10.1128/ JVI.00023-19. J. Virol. 93(12), e00023-19.
Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 News and Updates
Last updated , Dec 23 2021
The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic presents an ongoing challenge to researchers and public health officials. See below for a regularly updated list of COVID-19 and viral research articles. Information on how Promega manufacturing is responding to our customers needs during this time is available in this article.
COVID-19 Intranasal Vaccines Revisited: Can They Reduce Breakthrough Infections?
Dec 10, 2021
Virus-Like Particles: All the Bark, None of the Bite
Nov 17, 2021
How A New Wastewater Surveillance Method Predicted COVID-19 Cases in Italy
Nov 15, 2021
New Assay to Study SARS-CoV-2 Interaction with Human ACE2 Receptor
Nov 1, 2021
Streamlining Research: The Merits of Adaptive Clinical Trials
Oct 27, 2021
Rare Human Antibody Could Lead to A Universal Coronavirus Vaccine
Oct 18, 2021