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VLP as Positive Control in Viral Detection

VLP as Positive Control in Viral Detection

Large-scale rapid diagnostic tests are essential for extensive surveillance of epidemics and early detection to mitigate disease. Among them, quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR) is the most widely used virus detection method due to its high specificity and sensitivity, simple and rapid response. gold standard, such as the detection of SARS-CoV-2. A positive control is required for RT-qPCR to improve the accuracy of the detection.

Positive Control in Viral Detection

In viral detection, positive controls should be run in parallel with patient samples as a benchmark for monitoring and validating the accuracy of the test, which can improve the accuracy of the test, therefore, a reliable positive control is critical for viral detection by RT-PCR.

Types of Positive Controls

  • Extracted RNA as Positive Control
    As an unstable molecule, RNA is unstable in both synthesis and transcript, and is easily degraded. In addition, RNA quality can be further reduced when they are frozen and thawed repeatedly. Although there are currently RNA stabilizers such as RNA later, and DNA/RNA Shield, or the production of RNA in dry form, which can improve the stability of RNA, cold chain distribution is required.
  • Plasmid DNA as Positive Control
    Some laboratories use RNA extracted from highly positive patient samples as a positive control, but commercially available synthetic RNA transcripts or plasmids are most commonly used.
    Although plasmid DNA is more stable than RNA, since RNA/DNA samples are only added downstream of the testing process, they cannot guarantee whether viral RNA is degraded in the initial process and cannot achieve full control of the detection process.

  • VLP as Positive Control
    To overcome the disadvantages of using extracted viral RNA or plasmid DNA as a positive control, virus-like particles (VLPs) containing RNA transcripts can be developed as positive controls. VLP-based positive controls have the following advantages.
    • Safety: The biggest feature is that VLP is not infectious because it does not contain genetic material, so it is very safe and will not cause secondary infection.
    • High Accuracy: VLP-based positive control can be used as a positive control in the whole process from viral RNA extraction to clinical detection (RT-qPCR), which can better ensure the accuracy of detection.
    • Scalable and Stable: VLP-based positive controls for various viruses can be developed, and when VLP is used as a positive control, it is not easy to degrade and has good stability.
    • Fast Production and High Yield: VLP can be produced through multiple platforms, such as plants, bacteria, insects, etc., with fast production and high yield.

VLP-based SARS-CoV-2 positive control.VLP-based SARS-CoV-2 positive control. (Chan SK, et al., 2021)

How We can Help

As a global leader in the production and application of VLPs from VLPlantTM platform, CD BioSciences leverages its expertise to help our customers construct VLP-based positive controls that can be used for viral infection diagnosis (primarily RT-PCR). We are good at tailoring our services to the needs of our clients. Please contact us if you are interested.

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  1. Chan SK.; et al., Biomimetic Virus-Like Particles as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 Diagnostic Tools. ACS Nano. 2021, 15: 1259-1272.
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