May 2020

Bolstering COVID diagnostics and research by reducing risks of contamination

Coronavirus, or COVID-19, is an infectious disease that is spreading rapidly around the world and the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared the outbreak a global health emergency within weeks of its identification. As of 11 March, the outbreak has become a global pandemic.

In the months since the first confirmed case of COVID-19, the outbreak has become a global crisis, with the World Health Organization (WHO) reporting more than 3.4 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 worldwide across 215 countries and territories.

Organisations and countries around the world have rapidly responded to the outbreaks and are currently opening calls for more research into the virus and investment in future preparedness plans.  In the midst of these ongoing developments, researchers and healthcare professionals around the world are determined to make sure they respond quickly to each new individual case of the virus, and part of that is providing quick diagnosis.

Diagnostic kits are critical to test for patients presenting symptoms of particular infectious diseases in a timely manner in order to accurately diagnose and recommend adequate treatment for the patient and take necessary quarantine measures to curb the further spread of the disease. Manufacturers of these clinical diagnostic kits require high-quality and robust components to produce diagnostic kits that meet the sensitivity and specificity demand in a consistent manner from batch to batch.

LGC, Biosearch Technologies supports these scientists on the front line of human healthcare with our custom manufacturing of components for (q)PCR- and NGS-based diagnostics. This includes oligo components and chemistries, ranging from sample preparation, primers, dual labelled BHQ and BBQ probes, enzymes and master mixes, to nucleic acid chemistries and consumables that are needed for oligo synthesis.

PCR, or polymerase chain reaction, is a highly sensitive technology that can detect incredibly small measurements of DNA. This is one of the strengths of PCR, making it a popular choice for clinical diagnostics assays, but this sensitivity also raises challenges, including contamination and how traces from one of our oligonucleotide orders might affect your oligonucleotide order.

Our scientists are well-experienced in anticipating and mitigating risks of contamination, by implementing stringent processes to avoid cross-contamination between orders. This includes screening all orders involving oligonucleotides of certain lengths?

Why is this important and how do we do that? Head over the LGC, Biosearch Technologies blog to learn more.