Epidemiological surveillance is conducted to ensure viral disease outbreaks match the reference strain and to monitor possible mutations, since any changes in the viral genome can impact public health policies and decisions, how the illness spreads in the population, potential treatment options, and vaccine development. Thermo Fisher Scientific has a complete solution to assist scientists who are conducting epidemiological studies.

Next-generation sequencing

One research assay surveying the complete SARS-CoV-2 genome for epidemiological investigation

A major challenge for microbiologists and virologists is the prediction of patterns of evolution and emergence of disease agents. RNA viruses like SARS-CoV-2 (the coronavirus responsible for COVID-19) share the biological feature of high genetic variability, which causes them to appear as clouds of mutants. Coronavirus variants also emerge through antigenic shift within animal reservoirs, such as bats and snakes.

Ion Torrent targeted next-generation sequencing (NGS) enables a streamlined research workflow for complete genome sequencing and epidemiological studies of SARS-CoV-2.

The Ion AmpliSeq SARS-CoV-2 Research Panel is designed to cover more than 99% of the SARS-CoV-2 genome, including all potential serotypes, and can be used for complete viral genome sequencing and variant detection. This assay is part of an end-to-end solution, including a plug-in suite developed in collaboration with scientists at the forefront of the pandemic detection. From nucleic acid to variant report in as little as one day.

Benefits of using Ion Torrent NGS for studying SARS-CoV-2 include:

  • Fast turnaround time
  • Highly automated NGS workflow for easier adoption, lower user intervention, and improved lab efficiency
  • Accuracy of variantslower substitution errors for SNVs
  • Higher success rates—analyze directly with lower viral loads (as low as 20 copies)

The SARS CoV-2 Research Panel is now available for the Ion Torrent Genexus Integrated Sequencer. This new NGS solution enables you to rapidly go from nucleic acid to variant report in less than a single day with minimal hands-on time.

Learn more about our portfolio of Ion Torrent NGS instrumentation for SAR-CoV-2 research or request project costs.

Product Cat no.
Ion AmpliSeq SARS-CoV-2 Research Panel Contact your sales representative

Real-time PCR

Real-time PCR can be used to research viral and human genetic determinants that influence disease susceptibility, spread, and sequelae within a population or large sample size. Real-time PCR testing takes less than 40 minutes, is accurate to <10-copy detection, and has an affordable cost per sample.

Real-time PCR is also an important research tool in the development of future therapeutics and vaccines. As the gold standard for detecting and quantitating gene expression, real-time PCR provides a fast, reliable, and cost-effective means to determine potential responses to drug therapies or study viral loads after administration of treatments or vaccines.

SARS-CoV-2 has shown us that the time to and reproducibility of results are critical in potentially mitigating the impact of a crisis. A rigorous, reproducible workflow built on automation and integrated connectivity produces consistent results with fewer errors, while a coordinated ecosystem gives you complete control and oversight of your research. The following products used in concert with our suite of digital solutions enables you to connect everything: lab automation, data management, and digital partners, to help you move faster when timing is critical.

Viral nucleic acid isolation for SARS-CoV-2 research

Prior to any NGS-based epidemiological study of SARS-CoV-2, researchers need to quickly and efficiently isolate RNA. Features of the MagMAX Viral/Pathogen Nucleic Acid Isolation Kit include:

  • Automation-ready protocols designed for Thermo Scientific KingFisher systems
  • Flexible protocols accomodate mutiple sample types and input volumes
  • Recommended for viral nucleic acid isolation for SARS-CoV-2 to obtain high-quality nucleic acid

For fast, easy, and effective high-throughput sample processing, automate your nucleic acid isolation with the KingFisher Flex system, a versatile benchtop instrument for the processing of 24 or 96 samples per run. Features of this system include:

  • Choose from two plate formats for high-throughput purification of 24–96 samples per run
  • Easy to install and run (ready to run in 10 minutes or less)
  • Choose from two plate formats for wide volume range (20–5,000 µL)
  • Download existing protocols from a library, or easily customize protocols using Thermo Scientific BindIt Software

Avoid high levels of contaminating DNA and RNases and maintain a nuclease-free lab with RNaseZap solutions and nuclease-free water, buffers and reagents, and tips and tubes products:

Product Cat no.
GeneArt Gene Synthesis and Gene-to-Protein Services See thermofisher.com/geneart

Invitrogen SuperScript reverse transcriptases were developed for improved thermostability, processivity, and cDNA yields to enable superior performance with even the most challenging RNA samples. With over 50,000 citations, reviews, and publications, SuperScript reverse transcriptases are the superior choice for vaccine development.

Did you know our latest technology, SuperScript IV, allows researchers to perform cDNA synthesis in only 10 minutes?

See what other researchers are saying at www.thermofisher.com/ssiv