[CHECKLIST] The Comprehensive Guide for COVID-19 Testing

If you’re looking for more speed, precision, and reproducibility in your diagnostic tests, then it all starts with dependable products.

For the last six months of this global pandemic, the one thing every testing lab has been challenged with is sourcing products that are approved and fit for use.

Under normal circumstances, we don’t want to swap out validated products because it helps to ensure accuracy and repeatability. But current conditions have scientists starting the validation process on alternatives so that the workflow isn’t interrupted.

Which is why Thomas Scientific has created a COVID-19 testing checklist to help provide quality alternatives that not only ensure valid outcomes but also allow you to make sure your testing won’t get shut down by not having the necessary products.


3-Point COVID-19 Testing Checklist

This 3-step checklist is the first thing we look at with our customers when helping to validate alternative products, and also look for solutions to improve the speed and precision of their data.

Use this is the ultimate tool to ensure that your COVID-19 testing workflow is on the right track.


1.  Collection

Proper sample collection is critical for accurate test results. For initial diagnostics tests for COVID-19, a nasopharyngeal or oropharyngeal swab or saliva specimen should be collected and placed in an appropriate transport tube and packaged in sterile disposable bags.

Here’s how you can begin your product research:

  • What is the method of collection? Oral, nasal or saliva?
  • What is your transport ETA? Do you need a product for longer sample stability?
  • Do you need a transport tube and swab kit, or are you looking to purchase individually?
  • Are you looking for a transport media that inactivates the virus?


Specimen Collection

Specimen Transport

Thomas Scientific can assist you in meeting the FDA’s current recommendations for the collection and transport of clinical specimens for molecular diagnostic testing. We will help you source products with an EUA, a 510(k) exemption, or other protocol requirements.

Biohazardous Bags


2. Extraction

Most testing labs diagnose COVID-19 through real-time PCR to detect viral RNA in the collected specimen (such as saliva, or via nasopharyngeal/oropharyngeal swabs).

Here’s how you can begin your product research:

  • How are you capping/decapping the sample tubes?
  • Do you have a manual or automated extraction protocol?
  • Is your entire team wearing the appropriate PPE?


Extraction Kits

Preceding the application of qPCR is the isolation and purification of total RNA from the sample using an RNA purification kit.

Deep Well Plates and Tip Comb Plates

In order to streamline the PCR workflow, nucleic acid isolation can be conducted utilizing a liquid handling instrument. 


Our molecular diagnostics business team can help with sourcing centrifuges and centrifuge tubes that are appropriate for your specific workflow. We can also help with proper sample storage with freezer rack that work with your laboratory freezer.

Pro-tip – You can save significant time and money through RNA-extraction-free COVID-19 testing protocols. This workflow takes heat-inactivated samples and bypasses extraction for direct RT-PCR.


3. Amplification

PCR Reagents

ELISA Reagents

PCR Plates

Pro tip – If you want to scale your workflow so you can run more samples, consider miniaturizing your assays. Our molecular diagnostics team can help find cost effective ways to increase your throughput from 1 to 96, or 384-well formats.


Swipe the 3-Point COVID-19 Testing Checklist now.


To browse more products for molecular diagnostics, check out our NEW website section dedicated to supporting this workflow.

Learn more   ThomasSci.com/Molecular-Diagnostics


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