Greater rates of global travel, increased societal integration, changes in the ways we exploit our environment; these are all significant risk factors contributing towards the likelihood of pandemics. As a global society, we have never been more susceptible to a large-scale outbreak of infectious pathogens like coronaviruses. The 2003 severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) epidemic in East Asia taught us a great deal about the threat posed to modern communities by novel influenzas. This partly explains how, in a relatively short time-frame, we have developed such a variety of SARS-CoV-2 kits for diagnostic testing and surveillance screening.
SARS-CoV-2 Sequencing: Fast Action Accelerates Decision Making
During the 2003 outbreak of SARS, delayed reporting of initial cases was considered a contributing factor to the severity of the epidemic. The World Health Organisation (WHO) was compelled to update its standards on reporting outbreaks. In the case of SARS-CoV-2, the first genome sequence was made publicly available within ten days of the initial cluster of atypical pneumonia cases being reported in Wuhan on 31st December 2019. This rapid action was pivotal in characterising viral transmission and developing accurate SARS-CoV-2 kits for tracking infections in community settings.
The First SARS-CoV-2 Kits
A German-led group of researchers were the first to release a diagnostic protocol for the detection of SARS-CoV-2 via real-time reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). While most PCR workflows operate on the detection of deoxyribonucleic nucleic acid (DNA), RT-PCR is a novel approach capable of rapidly detecting viral ribonucleic acid (RNA) such as SARS-CoV-2 in mucus or saliva. So, how does this work?
Whole genome sequencing of SARS-CoV-2 revealed that it is a positive-stranded RNA virus with an envelope surrounding the viral shell. It comprises four primary structural proteins:
· Envelope (E) protein
· Membrane (M) protein
· Nucleocapsid (N) protein
· Spike (S) glycoprotein
The first SARS-CoV-2 kits detected the E protein. Positive results led to further confirmatory testing that targeted other structures in the viral genome. This was an extremely accurate technique, but it was not quick enough for diagnostic settings. Other confirmatory assays have targeted different sequences of the N protein using the same basic testing principles.
Novel SARS-CoV-2 Kits
It has become increasingly apparent that the S glycoprotein is the most important structure in the context of transmission as it mediates entry into epithelial cells via interactions with the cell surface receptor angiotensin. Epidemiological research and virology have focussed primarily on various S genes for therapeutic development.
At ACROBiosystems, we have developed a series of novel SARS-CoV-2 kits based on our superior antigen proteins. We offer high-quality inhibitor screening kits based on biotinylated angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2), enabling the screening of small molecule and peptide inhibitors relevant to SARS-CoV-2 immune responses. We can also provide precision antibody titer assay kits, antigen assays, and pre-coated antigen plates for antibody screening.
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Contact us today if you would like to learn more about our SARS-CoV-2 kits.
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