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5th January 2021  Product update: rapidmicrobiology staff writer

New Synthetic RNA Control for UK Variant Strain of SARS-CoV-2

Twist Bioscience Corporation is offering a new synthetic RNA control that includes the new variant of SARS-CoV-2 circulating in the United Kingdom and South Africa. This new variant strain of SARS-CoV-2 contains multiple spike protein mutations and mutations in other areas of the viral genome.

According to the European Centers for Disease Control, preliminary analysis in the UK suggests that this variant is significantly more transmissible than previously circulating variants, and increased transmissibility is estimated to be up by 70%.

The newly identified strain is known as the B1.1.7 lineage, variant under investigation VUI-202012/01, and does not appear to be more deadly than prior strains of SARS-CoV-2. With this new strain, some of the RT-PCR probes used widely in COVID-19 testing no longer detect the S gene that codes for the spike protein in SARS-CoV-2.

Twist expects the new control to be available for customers by January 15, 2021. For more information on Twist RNA Synthetic Controls for SARS-CoV-2, please click here.

In March, Twist launched synthetic SARS-CoV-2 RNA distinct reference sequences as positive controls for developing both next-generation sequencing (NGS) and reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) assays to test for SARS-CoV-2.

These controls continue to be included in many different assays worldwide and can be used to determine the limit of detection, monitor day-to-day test variations and are included on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) website as reference materials for SARS-CoV-2.

In June, additional SARS-CoV-2 controls were released to cover the evolution of the virus. The Twist synthetic controls are designed based on specific SARS-CoV-2 variants, cover the full viral genome and are sequence-verified.

For customers interested in alternative variants of SARS-CoV-2, Twist can provide custom controls and offers a suite of research tools including next-generation sequencing (NGS) products for SARS-CoV-2 and a broad respiratory panel and the most comprehensive viral panel. For more information on the Twist products to combat COVID-19, please click here.

Customers purchasing synthetic controls are subject to Twist’s leading biosecurity screening protocols and applicable laws and regulations. 

For more information, please use the 'Request Information' button provided below.

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Date Published: 5th January 2021

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Note: This content has been edited by a rapidmicrobiology staff writer for style and content.

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