Absolute Quantitation of SARS-CoV-2 with the Combinati Absolute Q dPCR Platform



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Learn about Absolute Q’s capability to perform 1-step RT-dPCR using the on a rare target dilution series by detecting as few as 5 viral RNA targets amongst a high background of human genomic DNA.

Application Highlights

  • 1st demonstration of a true 1-step RT-PCR on a digital PCR platform in under 80 minutes
  • Low limit of detection for viral load quantification demonstrated down to 5 target copies per reaction among high human genomic DNA background
  • Potential to enable more efficient quantification of viral targets with up to 4-color multiplexing

The COVID-19 pandemic has drawn heightened concern, with over eleven million positive SARS-CoV-2 cases confirmed worldwide by July 2020.¹ RT-qPCR currently serves as the clinical standard for the diagnosis of COVID-19. However in a recent study, it was demonstrated that digital PCR (dPCR) provided better sensitivity for identifying patients who ultimately were diagnosed with COVID-19.²

Reverse transcription digital PCR (RT-dPCR) is a valuable technique which enables improved consistency and lower limits of detection compared to qPCR. Quantification of extremely rare viral RNA target material is also possible without the need for a comparative standard curve.

Absolute Q workflow



Results of dynamic range testing for SARS-CoV-2 RNA targets among 50 nanograms (~15,000 copies) of human genomic DNA. Individual points are plotted.


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Combinat’s Absolute Q platform is for research use only and has not been validated for use in diagnostic procedures.


Additional Resources


SARS-CoV-2 Reference Material Quantification on the Absolute Q dPCR Platform


1-Step RT-dPCR in under 80 Minutes
on the Combinati Absolute Q

  1. (WHO), World Health Organization. “Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) - Situation Report 169.” Coronavirus Disease (COVID-2019) Situation Reports, 7 July 2020, 10:00 CEST, www.who.int/docs/default-source/coronaviruse/situation-reports/20200707-covid-19-sitrep-169.pdf?sfvrsn=c6c69c88_2.
  2. Dong L, Zhou J, Niu C, et al. Highly accurate and sensitive diagnostic detection of SARS-CoV-2 by digital PCR. medRxiv. March 2020:2020.03.14.20036129. doi:10.1101/2020.03.14.20036129