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Qiagen and GT Molecular Collaborate to Offer Digital PCR Wastewater COVID-19 Detection

Qiagen will collaborate with GT Molecular to offer COVID-19 wastewater detection assays on a digital PCR platform, the firms announced Tuesday.

This wastewater solution will combine Qiagen's QIAcuity digital PCR instruments and sample preparation with COVID-19 assays from GT molecular used to detect the virus in wastewater.

The workflow integrates multiplex dPCR with Qiagen's AllPrep PowerViral DNA/RNA Kit, which   leverages patented inhibitor removal technology to improve detection for wastewater-based epidemiology.

The solution, which launched in August, offers time to results of less than two and a half hours and complies with guidelines from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for wastewater surveillance.

"There are various methods and workflows for testing for SARS-CoV-2 in wastewater, and developing and optimizing them can be challenging and time consuming," said Thomas Schweins, senior VP of Qiagen's life science business area. "Qiagen and GT Molecular are offering a comprehensive solution for detection of SARS-CoV-2 and variants that significantly reduces the upfront time investment for our customers working in public health," Schweins added.

Christopher McKee, CEO of Fort Collins, Colorado-based GT Molecular, suggested the solution could play a key role in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic. "Our ultra-sensitive assay and the QIAcuity platform have combined to form a fast, easy-to-use and highly accurate system for tracking and managing the spread of COVID-19," he also said.

GT Molecular also offers assays to detect SARS-CoV-2 variants in wastewater.

Qiagen launched an RT-qPCR wastewater assay to detect SARS-CoV-2 in January. Digital PCR purportedly has the advantage of being more resistant to inhibitors than traditional RT-qPCR as well as allowing for direct quantification, both of which could be useful for WBE. Other firms currently offering SARS-CoV-2 wastewater surveillance workflows on digital PCR platforms include Bio-Rad Laboratories and Combinati.