Expert Insight: Important considerations for choosing a SARS-CoV-2 assay: Your questions answered

Watch this on-demand webinar to discover the critical factors when choosing an assay for coronavirus testing

08 Sep 2020


Arvind Kothandaram
Arvind Kothandaraman, General Manager, Specialty Diagnostics, PerkinElmer

Choosing the right solution for your laboratory's SARS-CoV-2 testing is an important decision. With the dynamic demand on labs, making the wrong choice could be catastrophic.

In this on-demand SelectScience® webinar, Arvind Kothandaraman, from PerkinElmer, discusses the critical factors to consider when choosing an assay for your coronavirus testing, including assay sensitivity and reliability, availability of reagents, throughput and labor requirements, sample-to-solution workflows and support.

Read on for highlights from the live Q&A session or register to watch the webinar at any time that suits you.

Q: What is the turnaround time of the RT-PCR workflow from sample isolation to result?

AK: The turnaround time is under four hours. It is under 60 minutes for RNA isolation, and under 2.5 hours for RT-PCR to achieve the low limit of detection.

Q: Are you working on an expanded RT-PCR panel targeting other pathogens in addition to SARS-CoV-2?

AK: Yes, we are working on a panel that targets SARS-CoV-2, influenza A, influenza B, and RSV (respiratory syncytial virus).

Q: What is the supply status of RNA isolation and RT-PCR reagents, and how have you adapted to the demand?

AK: We have recognized that transparency and ready access to availability is critical for labs. To meet this need, a tracker is available on our website to check the lead time for RNA isolation kits and RT-PCR reagents. For products on the market as well as upcoming ones, we have developed contingency plans with multiple manufacturing sites on different continents. That is how we're adapting to the demand.

Q: When we take a nasal swab, there will be various microorganisms in that region. How can we be sure that SARS-CoV-2 will not be contaminated with genomes from other microorganisms? Is there a chance that the contamination from these other genomes will result in a false-positive or false-negative result?

AK: The cross-reactivity of the PerkinElmer New Coronavirus Nucleic Acid Detection Kit was evaluated using both in silico analysis and wet lab testing against normal and pathogenic organisms that are found in the respiratory tract. The result of the in silico analysis suggested that the PerkinElmer SARS-CoV-2 kit is designed for the specific detection of SARS-CoV-2 with no expected cross-reactivity with the human genome, other coronaviruses, or human microflora that could predict potential false-positive RT-PCR results. Wet lab testing against normal and pathogenic organisms of the respiratory tract was performed to subsequently confirm the in silico analysis.

Learn more about SARS-CoV-2 testing solutions: Watch this webinar on-demand >>

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