Dr Steven Badman & Dr David van Bockel – Evaluation of commercially available viral transport medium for use in SARS-CoV-2 point-of-care testing

Event type: 
Event date: 
Tuesday, 6 October 2020 - 1:00pm to 2:00pm

Webinar via Microsoft Teams Live Event
Please click on the link below just before the start of the webinar

Contact for inquiries: 
Rata Joseph, +61 (2) 9385 0900 or recpt@kirby.unsw.edu.au
Booking deadline: 


Kirby Institute Seminar Series presents

Dr Steven Badman  

Dr Steven Badman
Research Investigator, Public Health Interventions Research Program and Sexual Health Program, Kirby Institute

Steven Badman has spent the last 10 years specialising in point of care testing for viral and sexually transmissible infections (STIs) in a number of international settings including Vanuatu, Fiji, Papua New Guinea and Myanmar. Significant work periods have also been spent in remote Australia, Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia. He has a diverse and specialised skill set including POC implementation in remote and low-middle income locations.

Dr David van Bockel  

Dr David van Bockel
Research Associate, Immunovirology and Pathogenesis Program, Kirby Institute

David van Bockel's training is in immunopathogenesis models. He has implemented a translational approach for basic laboratory science, to correlate scientific reportables run in parallel with known clinical trial outcomes; particularly clinical trial networks investigating human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), Mycobacterium tuberculosis, and Human Papillomavirus (HPV).



Critical to facilitating SARS-CoV-2 point-of-care (POC) testing is assurance that the virus present in specimens is inactivated onsite prior to processing. Here, we conducted experiments to determine the virucidal activity of commercially available viral transport mediums (VTM) to inactivate SARS-CoV-2. Independent testing methods for viral inactivation testing were applied, including a previously described WHO protocol, in addition to a buffer exchange method. We demonstrate that VTM formulations, Primestore Molecular Transport Medium (MTM) and COPAN eNAT, completely inactivate high-titre SARS-CoV-2 virus (> 1 x 107 copies /mL) and are compatible with POC processing. Furthermore, full viral inactivation was rapidly achieved in 2 minutes. We conclude that adding certain VTM formulations as a first step post specimen collection will render SARS-CoV-2 non-infectious for transport and for further in field POC molecular testing on GeneXpert platforms (in 45 minutes) or RT-PCR equivalent platforms.