The ability to accurately diagnose infectious diseases such as COVID-19 is critical. At an individual level, reliable diagnostic tests allow clinicians to administer the appropriate treatments and recommend other strategies, including quarantine. At the population level, accurate diagnostic testing allows for the monitoring of the spread of the virus and the rates of hospitalization, mortality, or immunity. The data can inform health authorities of the best course of action to control the disease, such as implementing physical distancing measures.
As demands for faster and more accessible tests rise, diagnostic assay developers need efficient and reliable tools to support the generation of these assays.
Tools and Technologies for Diagnostic Assay Development
Diagnostic tests detect viruses, viral components, or an immune response toward the virus. Assay developers may require the ability to isolate plasma and/or peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs), isolate viruses, or measure antibodies to develop accurate tests.
Plasma and PBMC Isolation
To design tests that can detect or measure the strength of an immune response against a virus, diagnostic assay developers may need isolated PBMCs and/or patient plasma from whole blood.
The combination of SepMate™ tubes and Lymphoprep™ density gradient medium simplifies PBMC and plasma isolation to increase the consistency of sample preparation and reduce variability—for more accurate assays.
To develop accurate and rapid diagnostic tests for viral infection, assay developers often use viruses or viral components recovered from patient samples. Density gradient centrifugation can be used to isolate viruses or viral components.
ELISA kits such as the ones below can be used during the development of diagnostic assays to quantify antibodies found in biological fluids (e.g. plasma).