Diagnostic testing for the new coronavirus strain SARS-CoV-2 can be carried out through molecular or immunoassays and can distinguish between active and past infections. For active infections, the presence of the virus can be detected by molecular RT-qPCR assay or by rapid antigen testing. The main benefits of RT-qPCR are sensitivity and the ability to detect transmission of the disease at very early stage of the infection. However, these tests must be carried out in a laboratory using sophisticated equipment. Rapid antigen assays in contrast, use monoclonal antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 in a lateral flow format and can be employed in the field to deliver immediate results. For past infections, the virus is no longer present but antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 continue to circulate after an infection has cleared, which can be detected using serology testing. These tests are useful tools for monitoring the evolution of an outbreak and for identifying previously undiagnosed infections in the asymptomatic population that is critical for seroprevalence studies.
Meridian provides a comprehensive solution to each type of COVID-19 assays. Our range of optimized RT-qPCR mixes are ideal for fast and accurate molecular testing and include options for direct detection on clinical samples. For immunoassays, Meridian has several pairs of high-performing monoclonal antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 and a range of recombinant antigens including a panel of antigens that represent the different World Health Organization’s Variants of Concern. The nucleoprotein MAb pair (9547/9548) is currently used in several commercial rapid assays and is capable of capable of detecting the major variant strains circulating globally (e.g. Alpha, Beta, Delta….).