Testing Reagents for SARS CoV 2: Institutional Stockpiling and Supply Chain Issues

Robert H. Christenson, PhD, University of Maryland, outlines the incentives for how SARS-CoV-2 testing reagents are acquired by institutions.

Does the testing reagent stockpile for COVID-19 impact other conditions? According to Robert H. Christenson, PhD, a professor at University of Maryland Medical School, not directly.

Many of the necessary components for mass testing are SARS-CoV-2 specific. This has led to a stockpiling of resources by various institutions, but has not impinged on the supply of reagents broadly.

In this segment, Dr. Christenson outlines the incentives for how SARS-CoV-2 testing reagents are acquired by institutions.

According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) the CDC 2019-nCoV Real-Time RT-PCR Diagnostic Panel contains 4 reagents:

There are 3 primer-probe mixes for:

  • 2019-nCoV_N1: targets virus nucleocapsid (N) gene for specific detection of SARS-CoV-2
  • 2019-nCoV_N2: targets virus nucleocapsid (N) gene for specific detection of SARS-CoV-2
  • RP: targets human RNase P gene for detection of human nucleic acids; control for sample integrity

As well as a 4th noninfectious positive control material which yields a positive result in each assay included in the panel.