Covid-19 assays and studies


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covid-19 ASSAYS and studies

IITRI can perform the following COVID-19 assays and studies under BSL-3 using SARS-CoV-2 (wildtype USA-WA1/2020).


In vitro assays

Efficacy assay (Immunostain)

– Efficacy assay using either Vero E6 or Calu-3 cells

– Looks at 50% effective concentration (EC50) of the drug against SARS-CoV-2. 

SARS-CoV-2 efficacy assay with immunostain


Neutralization assays (PRNT, ELISA)

SARS-CoV-2 48hr neutralization assays for antibodies to determine reduction of plaques and viral measurements.


– Plaques are visualized and counted using an ELISPOT instrument

– Plaque counts are fitted to a dose-response curve and plaque reduction neutralization test titers (PRNT) expressed in terms of conventional 50% PRNT end-point titers.


– For each well, the inhibition of virus by neutralizing antibodies is calculated as the percentage of reduction of the absorbance value in respect of the virus control

– The neutralizing antibody titer is defined as the reciprocal dilution that caused 50% reduction of the absorbance value of the virus control (50% A450 reduction)

In vivo studies

Hamster model

– Clinical signs such as body weight loss, although no mortality

– Viral load in nasal washes and blood

– Routes of dosage admin include intranasal, inhaled (inhalation), and intraperitoneal

-Virus detection in various tissues


References for this model:

Ferret model

– Favorable model for looking at effects solely in upper respiratory tract

– Infection model only, no clinical signs

– Viral load and shedding in nasal washes

– Routes of dosage admin include intranasal, intraperitoneal, inhaled (inhalation), and intravenous 

References for this model: IITRI ferret studies

Transgenic mouse model

– K18-hACE2 transgenic mouse model

Clinical signs such as body weight loss, mortality

– Viral load in nasal washes


Dose range-finding data for the hACE2- transgenic mouse model

IITRI has established itself as a leading COVID-19 CRO and due to the importance for this testing during the pandemic, has made provisions to turn these assays and studies around rapidly.  Other related capabilities include a BSL-3/ABSL-3 aerobiology environment for aerosol challenge studies.


Contact us for more detailed information, to discuss with a PhD study director or request a cost estimate.