Promega Corporation released a new system designed to help wastewater testing labs scale up their infectious disease surveillance by incorporating two technologies in a single kit.

Promega pairs the company’s Maxwell HT chemistry with Ceres Nanosciences’ Nanotrap particles, a technology used for capturing and concentrating low-abundance analytes such as viral particles. Together, these technologies empower labs to purify pathogen nucleic acids from wastewater samples in high-throughput workflows, the company says.

“Ceres has a technology that enables concentration of microbes from wastewater that is unique to the market,” says Brandon Krueger, Promega field support scientist, “so it worked quite well for Promega and Ceres to join together to make this a better process overall for wastewater testing labs.”

The new system joins a growing Promega portfolio of technologies used for wastewater-based epidemiology, including multiple workflows for purification and amplification of viral nucleic acids.

Using the new kit offered by Promega, wastewater testing labs use the Ceres Nanotrap particles to concentrate viral particles present in wastewater samples. Next, labs use the established Maxwell HT chemistry to purify nucleic acids such as DNA and RNA. Those nucleic acids can then be amplified and detected using methods such as quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) or digital PCR (dPCR), or used in sequencing applications.

“As wastewater-based epidemiology has expanded, it has become clear that it is incredibly valuable to pair the reliable and easy-to-use Nanotrap particle concentration method with strong purification methods,” says Robbie Barbero, Ceres chief business officer. “We are very excited that labs can now get the Promega Maxwell HT chemistry and the Nanotrap technology in a single kit.”

The kit is designed to be implemented on a variety of automated liquid handlers, allowing labs to save time and resources by automating all necessary preprocessing and postprocessing for detecting viral nucleic acid from wastewater samples via qPCR. Promega Field Support Scientists offer comprehensive support for labs implementing Promega chemistry on any liquid handling platform, including robot programming and process optimization.