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Coronavirus disease (COVID-19): Primers, Probes & Synthetic Positive Controls for 2019-nCoV

Overview

On this page you will find information about:

  • 1. Laboratory testing for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in suspected human cases
  • 2. WHO interim guidance for laboratory biosafety related to COVID-19 virus
  • 3. Molecular assays to diagnose COVID-19 virus
  • 4. WHO refence laboratories providing confirmatory testing for COVID-19

1. WHO interim guidance for laboratory testing

The purpose of this document is to provide interim guidance to laboratories and stakeholders involved in laboratory testing of COVID-19 virus.

Read the document (updated 2 March 2020)

2. WHO interim guidance for laboratory biosafety related to COVID-19 virus

The purpose of this document is to provide interim guidance on laboratory biosafety related to the COVID-19 virus to laboratories and stakeholders involved in COVID-19 virus laboratory work. This also includes the packaging and shipment requirements for sending specimens to WHO reference laboratories providing confirmatory testing for COVID-19.

Read the document (uploaded 12 February 2020)

3. Molecular assays to diagnose 2019-nCoV

Several assays that detect the 2019-nCoV have been and are currently under development, both in-house and commercially. Some assays may detect only the novel virus and some may also detect other strains (e.g. SARS-CoV) that are genetically similar.

Read the document (uploaded 12 February 2020)

In-house developed molecular assays

Some groups shared their protocols which can be accessed below (Summary table and link to the protocols). In some cases, the groups will be willing to send reagents or reagent mixes prepared in their laboratories, with or without associated fees. It is strongly recommended to contact the developer if you need further assistance. The list is not exhaustive and is being updated regularly.

Summary table of available protocols

Country Institute Gene Targets
China Charité RdRP, E, N
Hong Kong SAR HKU ORF1b-nsp14, N
Japan National Institute of Infectious Diseases, Department of Virology III Pancorona and multiple targets, Spike protein
Thailand National Institute of Health N
US US CDC Three targets in N gene
France Institut Pasteur, Paris Two targets in RdRP
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