Biomonitoring for SARS-CoV-2 and Other Disease Threats in Air, Surfaces, and Liquids

Outbreak Monitoring

It is understood that SARS-CoV-2 (as well as influenza and SARS-CoV-1) transmission is primarily through droplet and contaminated surface contact. However, there is also significant direct and indirect evidence that aerosol and surface transmission of SARS-CoV-2 and other pathogens are likely means of transmission (see references 1-9). In the current reality of the COVID-19 pandemic, the following situations may be operating blindly when it comes to surface, fomite, and aerosol contamination.

    ·      Hospitals and clinics
    ·      Close-quarter living facilities such as
             o   Military barracks
              o   Cruise ships or other vessels
              o   Senior living centers
              o   Prisons
              o   Schools
    ·      Public transportation, event spaces, and industry

Programs like the Vessel Sanitation Program (VSP) at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have been enacted to prevent and control the introduction, transmission, and spread of illnesses on cruise ships through such steps as monitoring and investigation.  The food industry has adopted Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) as a-systematic preventive approach to hazards such as bacterial and viral pathogens in a manner to avoid the hazards before they become a reality.  Similar approaches should be implemented more widely to prevent and mitigate outbreaks..

However, traditional methods for aerosol and surface monitoring for bacteria and viruses are negatively affected by limited collection volumes, poor sample recovery, and complex and difficult to perform recovery processes. InnovaPrep products provide simple and straightforward methods for collection and detection of SARS-CoV-2 and other pathogens at previously undetectable levels.

Proactive monitoring provides an increased understanding of:

       1.    Current state of contamination in the facility

       2.    Effectiveness, limits or gaps of environmental controls such as change air techniques

       3.    Effectiveness, limits or gaps of cleaning and disinfection procedures

       4.     Infection risk associated with staffing locations, functions, and available PPE

      5.     Determining when to implement social distancing or other measures

Biomonitoring Tools for Air, Surfaces, and Liquids - rapid, easy, portable & battery operable

Air Sampling

The ADC-200 Bobcat™ is a small lightweight and portable dry filter air sampler with a built-in tripod that actively collects viruses, bacteria and fungal spores from 100 LPM to 200 LPM. Sample recovery from the filter takes just seconds and results in a concentrated liquid sample of 6 mL that is ready for analysis using PCR or other molecular methods.  


Virus Collection Efficiency of the ACD-200 Bobcat testing data by the University of Minnesota School of Public Health for both the collection of live virus titers as well as sampled virus quantitation by PCR compares well to common wet reference samplers.

Longitudinal Metagenomic Analysis of Hospital Air Identifies Clinically Relevant Microbes  An article published by the Public Library of Science (PLOS ONE 2016). by Paula King, et al.

Liquid Concentration

The Concentrating Pipette (CP) Select™, uses dead-end filtration on high-flow single-use pipette tips to capture target particles. The CP Select uses an automated recovery process, termed, Wet Foam Elution™ to enable efficient extraction of the particles from the filter membrane in seconds and can administer very precise and controlled amounts of foam that produce filter elution volumes as low as 200 micro liters. The process maximizes concentration of the target thereby exponentially improving the limit of detection for trace pathogens.

InnovaPrep technologies have been used to concentrate microorganisms including viruses suspended in liquid with the CP Select for several years from a variety of environmental sources such as marine recreational and aquaculture waters,surface waters, storm run-off, cave and spring waters, irrigation waters, as well as wastewater influent and effluent.The Concentrating Pipette pairs with perfectly with most molecular methods.

Researchers and public health officials are using wastewater as a means detect the emergence or spread of COVID-19 outbreaks which has proven to be a significant epidemiological method to help determine where to mobilize resources and determine the degree and duration of intervention needed in a community by community real-time approach.  The Concentrating Pipette effectively concentrates SARS-CoV-2 from wastewater influent faster, easier, and better than other methods by improving the limit of detection, simplifying workflow, and by reducing labor.

[NOTE: users report efficient concentration of COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2) using the either the 0.05 um tips (item CC08020) or the Ultrafilter tips (item CC08003) depending on processing methods and/or regional differences in waters.


Rapid Concentration of SARS-CoV-2 in Wastewater for COVID-19 Monitoring and Public Health Outbreak Mitigation

Detection of an Avian Lineage Influenza A(H7N2) Virus in Air and Surface Samples at a NewYork City Feline Quarantine Facility Francoise M. Blachere, CDC NIOSH, et al.

Surface Sampling

A Surface Sampling Method published by NASA JPL showed the effectiveness of how simple felt squares or dry Swiffer-type wipes can be wetted and used to collect samples from large area surfaces. The resulting sample can be concentrated, without enrichment, on the Concentrating Pipette into a PCR-ready sample of about 200µL.


A Meta Mini Study: Improved Pathogen Detection of Air,Surface and Liquid Samples Through Rapid Concentration a poster presentation given by Dave Alburty, InnovaPrep CEO, at the American Society ofMicrobiology Biothreats meeting in January 2019. The poster outlines three studies where pathogen detection of air, surface and liquid samples were improved by using the Concentrating Pipette for rapid concentration. The studies were performed by independent labs including CDC NIOSH, NASA JPL, and the USDA.


InnovaPrep elution fluids are compatible with most molecular assays used in microbiology laboratories that will provide complete analysis within hours. For those facilities without these capabilities, please contact us for recommendations or consult with your local microbiology services laboratories.

About InnovaPrep

InnovaPrep® is a developer of preanalytical tools for modern microbiology. InnovaPrep products provide the critical macro-to-micro interface between real-world samples and the input volumes of modern molecular methods for analysis. These tools increase sensitivity and enable a faster, easier, and more efficient means of delivering the most highly concentrated sample possible for subsequent analysis.

InnovaPrep’s 35 pending and awarded patents apply to highly efficient collection and concentration of biological particles from air, surfaces, and liquids. InnovaPrep’s WetFoam Elution™ process enables instant recovery of particles from filters, membranes, surfaces, and objects. The primary utility for these technologies is to greatly improve the way biological samples, especially dilute samples, are collected and prepared for analysis, allowing the most advanced biological detection systems to contribute their full potential.

InnovaPrep is a registered prime contract holder with Joint Enterprise- Research, Development,Acquisition, Production/Procurement (JE-RDAP) a Multiple Award, enterprise-wide omnibus Indefinite Delivery Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contract vehicle that enables us to compete for future research, development, production,procurement, and fielding of CBRN defense systems, equipment, and material task/delivery orders for the Warfighter.


1 Booth, T. F., et al. (2005). Detection ofAirborne Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) Coronavirus and EnvironmentalContamination in SARS Outbreak Units. The Journal of InfectiousDiseases191(9), 1472–1477. doi: 10.1086/429634

2 Cai, J., Sun, W., Huang, J., Gamber, M., Wu,J., & He, G. (2020). Indirect Virus Transmission in Cluster of COVID-19Cases, Wenzhou, China, 2020. Emerging Infectious Diseases26(6).doi: 10.3201/eid2606.200412

3 Doremalen, N. V., et al. (2020). Aerosol andsurface stability of HCoV-19 (SARS-CoV-2) compared to SARS-CoV-1. doi:10.1101/2020.03.09.20033217

4 Hugonnet, S., & Pittet, D. (2004).Transmission of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome in Critical Care. AmericanJournal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine169(11),1177–1178. doi: 10.1164/rccm.2403004

5 Ong, S. W. X., et al. (2020). Air, SurfaceEnvironmental, and Personal Protective Equipment Contamination by Severe AcuteRespiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) From a SymptomaticPatient. Jama. doi: 10.1001/jama.2020.3227

6 Tellier, R., Li, Y., Cowling, B. J., &Tang, J. W. (2019). Recognition of aerosol transmission of infectious agents: a commentary. BMC Infectious Diseases19(1). doi:10.1186/s12879-019-3707-y

7 Yu, I. T., et al. (2004). Evidence of AirborneTransmission of the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Virus. NewEngland Journal of Medicine350(17), 1731–1739. doi:10.1056/nejmoa032867

8 Giuseppina La Rosa, et al. Viral infections acquired indoors through airborne, droplet or contact transmission. Ann Ist Super Sanità 2013 | Vol. 49, No. 2:124-132

9 Santarpia, J. L., et al. (2020). Transmission Potential ofSARS-CoV-2 in Viral Shedding Observed at the University of Nebraska MedicalCenter. doi: 10.1101/2020.03.23.20039446