Individuals who are infected with SARS-CoV-2 have a considerable risk of transmitting the infection within their communities, but can take up to 14 days to begin to show symptoms, if at all. The longer infected individuals go without a test, the more individuals within a community are exposed to the virus (1).

Researchers have shown that individuals infected with SARS-CoV-2 shed viral RNA through feces. The viral RNA is detectable prior to display of symptoms that would result in clinical testing, which would normally be used by the community to indicate a potential outbreak (2). SARS-CoV-2 wastewater surveillance has emerged as an effective method to identify and track transmission before a potential outbreak occurs, helping to rapidly inform public health policies. Multiple organizations worldwide have begun working to leverage wastewater surveillance to monitor regional or city-level spread of the virus, analyze individual dorms on campuses to identify asymptomatic carriers, capture emerging mutations, and respond to possible infections.

Digital PCR (dPCR), which enables absolute quantification with an extremely low level of detection, has been an effective method for wastewater surveillance, particularly because of its enhanced robustness against PCR inhibitors often found in more challenging sample types.

The QuantStudio Absolute Q Digital PCR System

For effective, robust, and accurate routine monitoring of SARS-CoV-2 in wastewater, it is critical to simplify the testing process, maximize the amount of data collected per reaction, and minimize sample and reagent waste. Using the Applied Biosystems QuantStudio Absolute Q Digital PCR (dPCR) System, robust digital PCR data can be generated in under four hours with a simple workflow requiring just five minutes of hands-on preparation. Up to four optical channels can be leveraged to provide simultaneous multiplex detection of wastewater-relevant targets. The MAP16 digital PCR plates are powered by microfluidic array plate technology, which enables more than 95% of the loaded sample to be analyzed per reaction, ensuring highly-accurate digital PCR results.


What our customers have to say

Video: Hear from current users performing digital PCR analysis on wastewater samples


Microfluidic array plate (MAP) technology

Learn how microfluidic array plate (MAP) technology can improve your dPCR workflow, help minimize sample loss, and maximize consistency.

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QuantStudio Absolute Q  Digital PCR System

QuantStudio Absolute Q Digital PCR System

Learn more about the QuantStudio Absolute Q Digital PCR System and how you can generate high-quality multiplex dPCR data in as little as 90 minutes.

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Custom designed assays

Can’t find the assay you’re looking for? Contact us and our experts can help design a dPCR assay formulated for success based on your target sequence of interest. Or submit the primer/probe sequences of your own design.

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