Product News: Automation Aids Nationwide Surveillance System for Virus Outbreaks

13 Nov 2009

The Korea Center for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) in Seoul, Korea, has chosen Tecan’s Freedom EVO® workstations to standardize protocols for the detection of enteric viruses. The viral nucleic acid purification protocol is based on silica-coated magnetic beads, using a Freedom EVO platform with a Te-MagS™ module for automated processing.

Dr Doo-Sung Cheon, a senior researcher in the Division of Enteric and Hepatitis Viruses at the KCDC, explained: “Our main task is to organize and perform nationwide surveillance for enterovirus and viral gastroenteritis, requiring robust methods that yield reliable results. Before automation, we extracted nucleic acid manually using labor-intensive column-based methods, which often gave false results due to experimental error. The automated system is both cost- and labor-effective compared to manual methods and, together with our own reagent mixture, yields better RNA purity and concentration.”

“Because our surveillance program relies on a network of regional laboratories, the standardized protocol, made possible by automation, is very important to maintain the consistent quality of results. The Tecan workstation achieves reliable and consistent yields of RNA, giving assurance of quality for our laboratory data and the surveillance system overall, and it is now a critically important device for the work we do,” Dr Cheon concluded.