Monday, March 30, 2020

What are the chemical reagents for COVID-19 testing that are in short supply?

From an op-ed in the New York Times, this interesting comment about COVID-19 related laboratory supplies:
...In three to four weeks, there will be a major shortage of chemical reagents for coronavirus testing, the result of limited production capacity, compounded by the collapse of global supply chains when the epidemic closed down manufacturing in China for weeks....
This linked to a press release from the American Society for Microbiology:
...One challenge that has come to light is the supply shortage for SARS-CoV-2 PCR reagents. We are deeply concerned that as the number of tests increases dramatically over the coming weeks, clinical labs will be unable to deploy them without these critical components. Increased demand for testing has the potential to exhaust supplies needed to perform the testing itself. This could include chemicals or plastics, for example, and could affect tests developed and offered by clinical or public health laboratories and/or (when they become available in the United States), commercial tests...
So does anyone know what reagents are short? Are there chemical reagents (as opposed to biochemical ones, i.e. enzymes) that are in short supply? If so, it'd be great if we could figure this out...  


  1. My guess is that it might be the DEPC needed to treat the water, plastics, and other reagent to prevent false negatives from RNAse activity.

  2. Aldrich still has DEPC in stock. We are beginning to see shortage of guanidinium thiocyanate, though.

    1. My second guess was going to be TRIzol which is a pre-mixed combo of phenol, guanidinium thiocyanate, and ammonium thiocyanate.


looks like Blogger doesn't work with anonymous comments from Chrome browsers at the moment - works in Microsoft Edge, or from Chrome with a Blogger account - sorry! CJ 3/21/20