Virology research

Viruses can lead to crop losses as well as to pandemics. On the other hand, they may serve as tools for genetic engineering. Learn more about virology research based on microplate readers.

Viruses are equally a threat to plants, bacteria, animals, and humans. They use their hosts to reproduce and can thereby damage them. This can lead, for example, to crop or farm animal losses and pandemics. On the other hand, viruses serve as tools for genetic engineering and the targeted modification of genomes. 

Modern virology characterises viruses molecularly and functionally and uses this information to develop diagnostic tests, antiviral drugs and vaccines. Traditionally, virology largely relied on microscopic methods. Nowadays, microplate-based assays on how to detect a virus increase throughput and enable the measurement of viral cytopathic effects, virus neutralization, antibacterial effects, binding of molecules to viral particles and much more.

Virus assays range from simple ELISA assays for measuring antibody titer to live-cell assays to measure replication. The variety of virus assays in combination with the need for cell-based methods requires a flexible microplate reader. 

The CLARIOstar®Plus microplate reader offers this flexibility. It is a modular multi-mode reader that can be equipped with fluorescence, luminescence, absorbance and advanced detection modes. With its Atmospheric Control Unit, it is further optimized for live-cell assays as it creates the optimal environment for long-term cell-based experiments. The CLARIOstar Plus can be equipped with a red-shifted PMT for increased sensitivity with fluorophores emitting in the red range of light. These are often used in cell assays to avoid autofluorescence.

The PHERAstar FSX multi-mode microplate reader is the ideal platform for screening departments, where potential anti-viral compounds have to be detected quickly and efficiently in high throughput. In addition, it can quickly and effortlessly measure all FRET, TR-FRET and fluorescence polarization dual emission assays. These are often used in binding/interaction assays for anti-viral compound screens.

Several of BMG Labtech’s readers like the Omega series or the CLARIOstar Plus offer an optional extended incubation up to 65 °C. This feature enables to simultaneously incubate and analyse isothermal amplification assays like the Loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP). This function has been used in the application note 356 to run and detect a colorimetric LAMP assay for the detection of SARS-CoV-2.

To learn more about virus detection methods and how to detect a virus with a microplate reader check out our blog post on the topic.


Browse our resources section for information about specific applications, literature citations, videos, blog articles and many other publications. Many of the resources provided are associated with current and previous instrument models and versions.

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