SARS-CoV-2 is the scientific name for the virus that causes coronavirus-19 (COVID-19) in humans. Omega Environmental Services is now offering SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) surface and in air environmental testing. Omega utilizes a multistep approach to deliver fast results, while saving our clients money. Unlike other companies, Omega Environmental Services will send an Industrial Hygienist onsite to conduct the environmental testing. Testing starts with the use of an ATP direct-read bio-luminescence meter to measure the cleanliest of surfaces in the space (description below). Followed by SARS-CoV-2 air and surface sampling.
WHAT is SARS-COV-2 REVERSE TRANSCRIPTASE QUANTITATIVE POLYMERASE CHAIN REACTION (RT-qPCR)
The polymerase chain reaction (PCR) is a laboratory-based method that measures the amount of viral RNA present on a sample. The mechanism behind the PCR is simple. An enzyme named reverse transcriptase converts SARS-CoV-2 RNA strands to complementary DNA strands. Once converted, the DNA strands are placed into a solution with free nucleotide (building blocks for DNA), Taq polymerases (protein responsible for DNA replication), DNA primers (specific to SARS-Cov-2) and other molecular components essential to the reaction. The reaction begins with the denaturing of DNA, which is the process of separating double stranded DNA fragments by heat into single stranded DNA fragments. Denaturing is followed by the annealing stage, which is the binding of DNA primers and Taq polymerases to single stranded DNA fragments. The annealing stage is followed by extension stage. The extension stage is where the Taq-polymerase joins free nucleotides to form a commentary DNA strand. The three stages are repeated 30 times resulting in billions of copies of the DNA strand. Each time a DNA strand is replicated a fluorophore (fluorescent chemical compound) is release emitting light. The thermocycler (PCR machine), is also equipped with a luminometer, which measures the amount of light produced during the reaction to estimate the amount of SARS-Cov-2 present in the sample. If replication exceeds a cycle threshold established by the laboratory the sample is determined to be positive for the SARS-Cov-2.