A blueprint for academic labs to produce SARS-CoV-2 RT-qPCR test kits.

TitleA blueprint for academic labs to produce SARS-CoV-2 RT-qPCR test kits.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2020
AuthorsMascuch, SJ, Fakhretaha-Aval, S, Bowman, JC, Ma, MThu H, Thomas, G, Bommarius, B, Ito, C, Zhao, L, Newnam, GP, Matange, KR, Thapa, HR, Barlow, B, Donegan, RK, Nguyen, NA, Saccuzzo, EG, Obianyor, CT, Karunakaran, SC, Pollet, P, Rothschild-Mancinelli, B, Mestre-Fos, S, Guth-Metzler, R, Bryksin, AV, Petrov, AS, Hazell, M, Ibberson, CB, Penev, PI, Mannino, RG, Lam, WA, GarcĂ­a, AJ, Kubanek, JM, Agarwal, V, Hud, NV, Glass, JB, Williams, LDean, Lieberman, RL
JournalJ Biol Chem
Date Published2020 Sep 03

Widespread testing for the presence of the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 in individuals remains vital for controlling the COVID-19 pandemic prior to the advent of an effective treatment. Challenges in testing can be traced to an initial shortage of supplies, expertise and/or instrumentation necessary to detect the virus by quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR), the most robust, sensitive, and specific assay currently available. Here we show that academic biochemistry and molecular biology laboratories equipped with appropriate expertise and infrastructure can replicate commercially available SARS-CoV-2 RT-qPCR test kits and backfill pipeline shortages. The Georgia Tech COVID-19 Test Kit Support Group, composed of faculty, staff, and trainees across the biotechnology quad at Georgia Institute of Technology, synthesized multiplexed primers and probes and formulated a master mix composed of enzymes and proteins produced in-house. Our in-house kit compares favorably to a commercial product used for diagnostic testing. We also developed an environmental testing protocol to readily monitor surfaces across various campus laboratories for the presence of SARS-CoV-2. Our blueprint should be readily reproducible by research teams at other institutions, and our protocols may be modified and adapted to enable SARS-CoV-2 detection in more resource-limited settings.

Alternate JournalJ Biol Chem
PubMed ID32883809