UK: AOAC Validated Test How to Detect Sars-Cov-2 on Environmental Surfaces

Editor: Alexander Stark

The new PCR Workflow test from Thermo Fisher Scientific is one of the first validated methods for the detection of Sars-Cov-2 on environmental surfaces. It can help protect staff, brands, business, and public health.

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Thermo Fisher Scientific's test becomes one of the first validated methods for detection of Sars-Cov-2 on environmental surfaces.
Thermo Fisher Scientific's test becomes one of the first validated methods for detection of Sars-Cov-2 on environmental surfaces.
(Source: Thermo Fisher Scientific)

Basingstoke/UK — Factories, retailers and hospitality establishments are favorable environments for the transmission of Covid-19. Workplaces are crowded, social distancing can be challenging, and the virus thrives in lower temperatures. Crucially, metallic surfaces can retain live viruses for longer than those of other materials. Studies have shown that in some conditions, Sars-Cov-2 can remain viable on common surfaces, such as that used for food packaging, for up to 28 days.

Retailers and producers, then, are increasingly looking for laboratory tests that can help them control the efficiency of the sanitation processes and barriers procedures — and give them the information they need to keep their staff safe, their brand untarnished, and their doors open.

The Thermo Scientific Sars-Cov-2 PCR Workflow for food packaging and environmental surfaces is a complete end-to-end workflow, encompassing sampling, sample preparation, and detection. It can deliver results in as little as three hours, quickly providing customers with the information they need to manage any potential surface or packaging contamination risks.

The test, which has been performance tested and validated by AOAC International for qualitative detection of the virus on environmental surfaces, includes three Taqman RT‑PCR assays, to target Sars-Cov-2 (ORF1ab, N-gene, S-gene) genes, and one positive control assay, targeting the Human RNase P RPPH1 gene offering both high specificity and sensitivity. Because of the multi-target design of this assay, overall test sensitivity should not be impacted by the new Sars-Cov-2 strain lineage B.1.1.7 variant.

The Sars-Cov-2 PCR workflow can be run on the Applied Biosystems 7500 Fast Real-Time PCR System or the Applied Biosystems Quant Studio 5 Real-Time PCR System which many food and environmental testing labs are used to working with. Both instruments are also suitable for the company’s complete portfolio of PCR tests for food pathogens and environmental samples, biothreat organisms, animal species identification and GMO testing.

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