Boston, MA., June 23, 2020. Kerafast Inc., developers of an online platform to facilitate access to unique lab-made bioresearch materials, today announced the availability of the Delta-G-VSV Pseudotyping System for coronavirus research applications. The system, developed by the Michael Whitt laboratory at University of Tennessee, enables studies of SARS-CoV-2 viral entry and COVID-19 vaccine effectiveness at just biosafety level 2 (BSL-2) containment.
The Delta-G-VSV Pseudotyping System has proven useful for identifying cellular receptors for viruses, screening for entry inhibitors, and evaluating neutralizing antibody responses following vaccination. It is a reverse genetics system in which the G protein of vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) has been deleted, allowing for the production of VSV pseudotypes with the envelope glycoproteins of heterologous viruses, including those that typically require high-level containment such as coronaviruses. Because the infectivity of the VSV pseudotypes is restricted to a single round of replication, research can be performed using just BSL-2 containment.
The Delta-G-VSV Pseudotyping System is used as a virus model system by researchers worldwide, and it is now being applied to study COVID-19 infection. Scientists can insert the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein into the modified VSV, enabling research at a lower biosafety level than required for live coronavirus. In addition, the system enables rapid screening for neutralizing antibodies, which can be useful for evaluating potential vaccines as well as determining whether people possess protective antibodies following exposure to COVID-19 infection.
“Researchers worldwide have been working at unprecedented speeds to better understand and slow the coronavirus pandemic,” said Travis Riedel, PhD, MBA, Vice President of Product Development at Kerafast. “The Kerafast mission is to advance scientific research by facilitating access to unique lab-made reagents, and we are working hard to get the Delta-G-VSV Pseudotyping System into the hands of scientists who are moving coronavirus research forward.”
“With our lab’s Delta-G-VSV Pseudotyping System, we’ve had a real opportunity to contribute to the global fight against the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Michael Whitt, PhD, associate dean and chair of the Department of Medical Education in the University of Tennessee Health Science Center and a professor in the Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Biochemistry. “Our partnership with Kerafast enables us to distribute our reagents to more scientists with less effort, accelerating the system’s adoption and use by coronavirus researchers around the world.”
Various Delta-G-VSV reagents are available via the Kerafast catalog, including pseudotyped viruses, plasmids, and an optimized cell line. They can all be ordered through a user-friendly research-use-only click license, after which a portion of the proceeds is returned to the Whitt laboratory to support future research. Under this arrangement, scientists worldwide can easily access the reagents without a time-consuming Material Transfer Agreement (MTA). The Delta-G-VSV Pseudotyping System has been available through Kerafast since 2012, and since the coronavirus pandemic began in 2020, the reagents have been shipped to researchers in 22 different countries across four continents.
For more information and a list of Delta-G-VSV Pseudotyping System reagents, please visit our website here.
More information on the Whitt laboratory can be found here.
Kerafast, Inc. is a reagent company whose primary mission is to make unique laboratory-made research tools easily accessible to the global scientific community. Through an online platform, Kerafast helps remove barriers to transferring bioresearch materials within the scientific community and returns generous royalty payments to the contributing investigators and their institutions. Since its founding in 2011, Kerafast has partnered with more than 190 academic research institutions internationally and provided reagents to scientists in 63 countries across six continents. In 2018, Kerafast merged with Absolute Antibody, a company specializing in recombinant antibody technology, to further improve the selection of research tools available to the scientific community. For more information, visit Kerafast.com.
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