The recent incidence of emerging and re-emerging viruses is a serious health concern worldwide. The development of transportation systems, such as air travel, has increased the risk of a global pandemic caused by emerging viruses. Agents causing novel infections are often zoonotic, crossing from the natural host into the human population. Hence, comprehensive surveillance of virus-infected animals as well as humans is required. However, the number of virus particles in clinical and environmental samples is usually very low. Thus, a method to concentrate the virus is sometimes required in order to enable detection. We recently reported that magnetic beads coated with an anionic polymer, poly(methyl vinyl ether-maleic anhydride) can be used to facilitate the rapid and sensitive detection of viruses. In this review, we describe recent developments for concentrating viruses using anionic magnetic beads.