Virology research

Find the perfect BMG LABTECH plate reader for your virology research.

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 replication, virus neutralization, 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 CLARIOstarPlus 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.

    TCID50 Assays
    July 27, 2021

    Tissue Culture Infectious Dose (TCID50) Assays: How to determine virus infectivity?

    Viruses, nowadays more than ever, pose growing threats to our health, society, and economy. Virus assays suitable for analysing the mechanisms behind virus infections as well as quantifying related diagnostic parameters are key in understanding virus-host interactions and virus pathophysiology 1. In this regard, 50% Tissue Culture Infectious Dose (TCID50) assays are often used to quantify virus titers and are an important tool for the determination of virus infectivity and replication, both crucial parameters for the assessment and investigation of new treatments and therapeutics. 

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    Virus Detection Methods
    June 29, 2021

    Virus detection methods

    Virus detection methods are used for different purposes in modern virology research. When applied to epidemiology, they can help to track and control pandemic outbreaks like SARS- CoV-2, swine influenza and many other diseases caused by viruses. But did you know, there are numerous virus detection methods available other than the commonly known PCR? This blog highlights some alternative virus detection methods, which can be run on microplate readers and therefore show great upscaling potential.

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    February 16, 2021

    How to detect a virus with a microplate reader?

    We have been accompanied by the COVID-19 pandemic and its consequences for over a year now. Massive efforts have been made worldwide to develop antiviral treatments and vaccines effective against SARS-CoV-2. A comprehensive view of the events of the last few years suggests that virology will probably not lose its importance even after the successful containment of this pandemic. In fact, the increase in occurrence and types of virus outbreaks of recent years, such as SARS-CoV-1, Zika, MERS, Ebola and swine flu, illustrate the growing risks viruses pose not only to our health, but also to our society and economy. 

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    Vaccine Development
    May 20, 2020

    Vaccine Development: past, present and future

    Vaccines are powerful tools that have completely or nearly wiped out several viral diseases. Other infectious diseases however still await the development of effective vaccines. These diseases include malaria and HIV, whose vaccine development has been going on for decades. Presently, the globe is dealing with a pandemic of the novel Coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) and the world is clamoring for an effective vaccine. This has spurred a rapid advancement of new vaccine technology into clinical trials and could very well lead to a new era in vaccine development.

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    • High-resolution profiling of pathways of escape for SARS-CoV-2 spike-binding antibodies

      Garrett, ME;Galloway, J;Chu, HY;Itell, HL;Stoddard, CI;Wolf, CR;Logue, JK;McDonald, D;Weight, H;Matsen, FA;Overbaugh, J;[2021]


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    • Decay of Fc-dependent antibody functions after mild to moderate COVID-19

      Lee, WS;Selva, KJ;Davis, SK;Wines, BD;Reynaldi, A;Esterbauer, R;Kelly, HG;Haycroft, ER;Tan, HX;Juno, JA;Wheatley, AK;Hogarth, PM;Cromer, D;Davenport, MP;Chung, AW;Kent, SJ;[2021]

      Cell reports. Medicine

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    • The furin cleavage site in the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein is required for transmission in ferrets

      Peacock, TP;Goldhill, DH;Zhou, J;Baillon, L;Frise, R;Swann, OC;Kugathasan, R;Penn, R;Brown, JC;Sanchez-David, RY;Braga, L;Williamson, MK;Hassard, JA;Staller, E;Hanley, B;Osborn, M;Giacca, M;Davidson, AD;Matthews, DA;Barclay, WS;[2021]

      Nature microbiology

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    • Viral Infectivity in Patients Undergoing Tracheotomy With COVID-19: A Preliminary Study

      George, MM;McIntyre, CJ;Zhou, J;Kugathasan, R;Amos, DC;Dillon, IJ;Barclay, WS;Tolley, NS;[2021]

      Otolaryngology--head and neck surgery : official journal of American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery

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    • Targeting natural splicing plasticity of APOBEC3B restricts its expression and mutagenic activity

      Rouf Banday, A;Onabajo, OO;Lin, SH;Obajemu, A;Vargas, JM;Delviks-Frankenberry, KA;Lamy, P;Bayanjargal, A;Zettelmeyer, C;Florez-Vargas, O;Pathak, VK;Dyrskjøt, L;Prokunina-Olsson, L;[2021]

      Communications biology

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