COVID-19 Surveillance


COVID-19 surveillance is needed to better inform public health decisions. Standing in the way of these efforts are large sample numbers, supply shortages, and complex samples types. Researchers need to detect SARS-CoV-2 in wastewater, study seroprevalence across a population to better understand local infection rates, and characterizer how new SARS-CoV-2 variants spread over time in different populations. Bio-Rad offers several solutions to address the needs of scientists studying COVID-19. Droplet digital PCR is ideal for detecting SARS-CoV-2 in wastewater. Multiplex immunoassays measure anti-SARS-CoV-2 IgG antibodies in a population. Both real-time PCR and ddPCR can monitor the variant sequences of SARS-CoV-2 in the population.

Bottle of wasterwater for SARS-CoV-2 testing

Wastewater Testing for SARS-CoV-2

Wastewater testing can be used to detect SARS-CoV-2 viral RNA shed in the stool of symptomatic and asymptomatic infected individuals, providing near real-time surveillance of SARS-CoV-2 viral spread at the community level. Wastewater testing provides a more complete snapshot of community spread than clinical testing and can serve as an early warning system for COVID-19 outbreaks.

High levels of PCR inhibitors combined with low levels of virus complicate testing wastewater with traditional nucleic acid tests. Bio-Rad’s ddPCR technology is being used to predict and prevent COVID-19 community outbreaks.

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Wastewater flow diagram from communities to wastewater treatment facilities.

COVID-19 Public Health Studies

Surveying the seroprevalence of antibodies to the SARS-CoV-2 virus is key to understanding local infection and exposure rates in specific areas or institutions. Because some people are asymptomatic and may not know they have been infected, population studies are crucial in modeling transmission in the COVID-19 pandemic.

For research use only, Bio-Plex SARS-CoV-2 Serology Assays provide flexible options to measure anti-SARS-CoV-2 IgG antibodies in a population.

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