Rapid, simple influenza RNA extraction from nasopharyngeal samples

J Virol Methods. 2012 Jul;183(1):8-13. doi: 10.1016/j.jviromet.2012.03.002. Epub 2012 Mar 7.


This report describes the development and pre-clinical testing of a new, random-access RNA sample preparation system (TruTip) for nasopharyngeal samples. The system is based on a monolithic, porous nucleic acid binding matrix embedded within an aerosol-resistant pipette tip and can be operated with single or multi-channel pipettors. Equivalent extraction efficiencies were obtained between automated QIAcube and manual TruTip methods at 10(6) gene copies influenza A per mL nasopharyngeal aspirate. Influenza A and B amended into nasopharyngeal swabs (in viral transport medium) were detected by real-time RT-PCR at approximately 745 and 370 gene copies per extraction, respectively. RNA extraction efficiency in nasopharyngeal swabs was also comparable to that obtained on an automated QIAcube instrument over a range of input concentrations; the correlation between threshold cycles (or nucleic acid recovery) for TruTip and QIAcube-purified RNA was R(2)>0.99. Preclinical testing of TruTip on blinded nasopharyngeal swab samples resulted in 98% detection accuracy relative to a clinically validated easyMAG extraction method. The physical properties of the TruTip binding matrix and ability to customize its shape and dimensions likewise make it amenable to automation and/or fluidic integration.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Humans
  • Influenza A virus / genetics*
  • Influenza B virus / genetics*
  • Nasopharynx / virology*
  • RNA, Viral / isolation & purification*
  • Specimen Handling / methods*
  • Virology / methods*


  • RNA, Viral