QIAGEN expands NGS and software solutions to accelerate COVID-19 research

Aug. 20, 2020

QIAGEN has launched the QIAseq SARS-CoV-2 Primer Panel for next-generation sequencing (NGS) of the novel coronavirus genome, along with integrated analysis and interpretation workflows for insights into the evolution and spread of the virus that causes COVID-19 disease, according to a press release from the company.

The new products are an expansion of QIAGEN’s broad offering of sample technologies, diagnostic tests and instruments, and research tools for use in the global effort to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.

QIAGEN’s new QIAseq SARS-CoV-2 Primer Panel provides optimized, single-day workflows to prepare libraries for sequencing as researchers use NGS to track viral genome changes in studying the epidemiology of virus outbreaks. The two-step process uses advanced QIAseq technologies to conduct reverse transcription and cDNA synthesis from a viral RNA sample, then generate libraries compatible with Illumina sequencing platforms. The workflow is faster and has lower-input requirements compared to hybrid capture solutions.

The panel is supported with software pipelines tailored to SARS-CoV-2 genome analysis using QIAGEN’s CLC Genomics Workbench. The optimized and configurable pipelines allow researchers to identify viral genome sequence variation across samples, and to visualize strain divergence across populations and geographies using phylogenetic approaches. QIAGEN also provides a complete Sample-to-Insight SARS-CoV-2 Whole Genome Sequencing Service covering all aspects of the workflow, from RNA isolation to NGS library preparation and data analysis.

The first independent study using the new QIAGEN workflows, an analysis of COVID-19 epidemiology in India, has been published in the Journal of Biosciences. The study used QIAGEN’s QIAamp Viral RNA Mini Kit for extraction of RNA. Researchers used the QIAseq SARS-CoV-2 Primer Panel for viral genome amplification in samples that did not generate sufficient NGS reads, converting the RNA to double-stranded cDNA and amplifying it, then generating libraries for sequencing on an Illumina instrument. The sequences were assembled and analyzed using QIAGEN CLC Genomics Workbench.

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