High-Throughput COVID-19 Diagnostic Test that Detects Both Viral and Host Nucleic Acid

The rapid worldwide spread and impact of COVID-19 caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has created a need for accurate, reliable, and readily accessible testing on a massive scale.

NIEHS researchers developed a massively paralleled multiplexed screening method using next generation sequencing (NGS). This method uses sample-specific barcoded indexes that detect both SARS-COV-2 virus and the host’s transcriptional response to infection simultaneously. By matching existing laboratory protocols for PCR-based sample processing, this assay is easily incorporated into existing CLIA-certified facilities. This testing approach provides the capability for testing tens of thousands of patient samples in a large bolus, allowing accurate and fast-turnaround SARS-CoV-2 testing capacity at population scale, and permits monitoring of at-risk individuals.

Potential Commercial Applications: Competitive Advantages:
  • Diagnostic test for detecting infectious organisms, including SARS-CoV-2
  • Reduction in reagents needed to perform a test, reducing test cost and bottleneck of critical reagents used during nucleic acid amplification
  • Simultaneously detect the pathogen and a host’s transcriptional response to infection by the pathogen
  • Gene expression information from the donor can be used to predict disease severity


Oswaldo Lozova (NIEHS)  ➽ more inventions...

Brian Papa (NIEHS)  ➽ more inventions...

Intellectual Property:
US Pat: - issued -


COVID-19 Testing Technologies Boosted by New Funding.

NIEHS Press Release

Collaboration Opportunity:

The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) is seeking statements of capability or interest from parties interested in collaborative research to further develop, evaluate, or commercialize COVID-19 diagnostics. For collaboration opportunities, please contact Sharon Soucek at sharon.soucek@nih.gov.

Licensing Contact:
Vidita Choudhry, Ph.D.
Email: vidita.choudhry@nih.gov
Phone: 301-594-4095

OTT Reference No: E-241-2020-0
Updated: Jan 11, 2021