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RNA extraction free and heat treatment free COVID-19 PCR direct from swab method

D1: Path Lab Bulletin
D3: Catalogue of Resources

This is a method for direct addition of the swab VTM to a COVID-19 PCR without needing RNA extraction or heat treatment.

Once the PCR plate is sealed, the first stage of the RT-PCR serves as a viral inactivation step.

Have you validated this method, if so, how and what were the results of the validation?​

Yes we have validated this method, please see attached paper.

How quickly could this be deployed and what are the dependencies?​

This method could be quickly deployed to any lab with realtime PCR instruments and safety cabinets

What is the likely production volume?​

This method allows for PCR of 96 samples and controls per instrument in less than 1 hour.

What are the risks and barriers to using this at scale?​

The only barrier is the time required for preparation and aliquotting of the swabs which must be done in a safety cabinet. However this would be the same for all methods using swabs.

Who are you already partnering with on this?

At least one other lab is trying this method using the same PCR

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Kathryn Perera Apr 13, 2020

Hi Paul, thank you for this submission and the accompanying paper.

Kyle Beacham Apr 14, 2020

Status label added: D

Kyle Beacham Apr 14, 2020

The idea has been progressed to the next milestone.

Bev Matthews Apr 23, 2020

Status label added: D1

Bev Matthews Apr 23, 2020

Status label removed: D

Tom Jordan Apr 28, 2020

Thank you for sharing this with us Paul. Our champions were keen to share your submission more widely. We have added this page to our weekly Testing Methods bulletin, to encourage labs to consider this in detail, test and scale-up.

You can access the weekly bulletins from the COVID-19 resources hub on the RCPath website:

Kind regards,
Tom Jordan
On behalf of the Testing Methods team

Tom Jordan Apr 28, 2020

The idea has been progressed to the next milestone.

Charlotte Cookson May 7, 2020

Hi Paul, we are trying to make contact to see if you would like to join a conversation we are planning for next week. Charlotte

Users tagged:

Charlotte Cookson May 7, 2020

Status label added: Requires more information

Bev Matthews Jun 10, 2020

Status label added: D3: Catalogue of Resources

Status label removed: More information requested