Viral RNA/DNA Purification

About viral RNA extraction and viral DNA extraction

Analysis of viruses in biological and environmental samples requires efficient methods for viral nucleic acids that are amenable to a variety of sample types. Viral nucleic acids may need to be isolated from saliva, blood, tissue, and even wastewater or stool samples. Each sample type has unique requirements for optimal nucleic acid extraction and isolation.

The two most common viral nucleic acid isolation technologies are magnetic beads and silica (glass) fiber filters. Both work by taking advantage of their different affinity for nucleic acids based on the concentration of chaotropic salts in the buffer, binding in high-salt buffers and eluting in low-salt buffers.

Silica column isolation of viral RNA and DNA

Silica-containing spin columns for viral RNA/DNA isolation are based on the well-known silica-binding properties of DNA and RNA. The spin column format makes washing the silica easy and efficient.

Our viral spin-column products including PureLink Viral RNA/DNA Mini Kit and GeneJET Viral DNA/RNA Purification Kit are designed for fast and easy isolation of viral RNA or DNA from cell-free samples such as serum, plasma, cerebrospinal fluid, and cell culture supernatant.

  • Performs both viral RNA extraction and viral DNA extraction
  • Yields highly concentrated viral nucleic acids for greater sensitivity in detection
  • Purified nucleic acid is ready for real-time PCR and endpoint analysis
     

Magnetic bead viral RNA extraction

Magnetic bead-based viral nucleic acid extraction kits utilize small paramagnetic beads that strongly yet reversibly bind to DNA/RNA. Benefits of bead-based MagMAX Viral and Pathogen Nucleic Acid Isolation Kits include:

  • Magnetic beads bind RNA more efficiently than glass fiber filters, resulting in higher and more consistent RNA yields.
  • Magnetic beads can be efficiently transferred and washed by pipette, making the process easily automatable.
  • Magnetic beads are more flexible with regard to sample type, i.e., whole blood and cells
  • Viral nucleic acid can be eluted into a small volume of highly purified material suitable for NGS
     

Spin column isolation of viral RNA and DNA

All of our viral spin-column kits including PureLink Viral RNA/DNA Mini Kit, Thermo Scientific GeneJET Viral DNA/RNA Purification Kit and PureLink Pro 96 Viral RNA/DNA Kit with 96-well plate are designed for fast and easy isolation of viral RNA or DNA from cell-free samples such as serum, plasma, cerebrospinal fluid, and cell culture supernatant.

  • Complete solution for both viral RNA and DNA
  • Yields highly concentrated viral nucleic acids for greater sensitivity in detection
  • Ideal for real-time PCR and endpoint analysis

Some viral kits are experiencing long lead times but there is another option. See our manual isolation solution using MagMAX Viral/Pathogen Nucleic Acid Isolation kits.


Selection guide: Viral DNA extraction

Viral nucleic extraction kits from Thermo Fisher Scientific are optimized to provide maximum viral DNA/RNA yield, purity, and integrity from a broad range of sample types. Choose the kit that best suits your research needs:

Best for
 
 
Recovery
of low
abundance
viral
DNA/RNA
High quality
DNA/RNA
from liquid
samples
 
Automated
extraction of
viral DNA/RNA from liquid samples
Automated
extraction;
large volume
samples
 
DNA/RNA extraction from difficult to lyse samples
 
ProductPureLink Viral RNA/DNA Mini Kit
 
  PureLink Viral RNA/DNA Mini Kit
GeneJet Viral DNA/RNA Purification KitPureLink Pro 96 Viral RNA/DNA Purification KitMagMAX Viral/Pathogen Nucleic Acid Isolation Kit

MagMAX Viral/Pathogen Nucleic Acid Isolation Kit
MagMAX Microbiome Ultra Nucleic Acid Isolation Kit
  MagMAX Microbiome Ultra Nucleic Acid Isolation Kit
Cat. No.12280050K082112280096AA48310A42357
Starting volume500 µL200–400 µL200 µL200–2,000 µL200–500 µL or 100–250 mg
Sample typesCell-free plasma, serum, cerebrospinal fluidPlasma, serum, nasal swab, buccal swab, saliva, urineCell-free plasma, serum, cerebrospinal fluidLiquid samples (e.g., whole blood, serum), nasal swab, buccal swab, salivaStool, swabs, transport media, culture media, urine, wastewater, soil
Isolation technology & formatsilica spin columnsilica spin columnsilica- membrane 96-well microplatemagnetic beads/ multiwell platemagnetic beads/ multiwell plate
Protocol time45 mins30–60 mins30 mins30 mins (automated)~60 mins
Sample elution volume10–50 µL50 µL50–150 µL50–100 µL50–200 μL
Automation compatibleNoNoYesYesYes
Number of preps50503842000100
Downstream applications(RT)-PCR, (RT)-qPCR, Northern Blotting(RT)-PCR, (RT)-qPCR, Northern Blotting(RT)-PCR, (RT)-qPCR, Northern Blotting(RT)-PCR, (RT)-qPCR, NGS(RT)-PCR, (RT)-qPCR, NGS

Need to isolate intact virus? Visit SARS-CoV-2 Virus Purification to learn how


Automatic viral nucleic acid purification systems

For fast, easy, and effective high-throughput sample processing, automate your nucleic acid isolation workflow. KingFisher automated sample purification systems can be used to process all MagMAX kits, including MagMAX Viral/Pathogen Nucleic Acid Isolation Kits.

Automated viral DNA extraction protocols for the silica plate-based PureLink Pro 96 Viral RNA/DNA Purification Kit use a vacuum manifold to achieve buffer flow/wash and are available for a variety of XYZ liquid handlers.
 

Lab essentials for viral RNA extraction

The RNA purification process presents unique challenges, one of which is ribonuclease contamination. Even a trace amount of RNase contamination can sabotage your experiment. Our RNAse-free Reagents and Supplies are designed to be used together to help avoid, detect, and inhibit RNases and nucleases in your lab.
 


Ordering information for viral nucleic acid isolation kits

Resources and support for viral RNA extraction and viral DNA extraction

  • Protocol Videos—Videos to help you isolate nucleic acids using a variety of techniques.
  • DNA & RNA Selection Guide—Find the right purification products.
  • Videos—View our library of DNA & RNA purification and analysis videos.
  • Application Notes—Explore our application notes from scientists sharing data for isolation products