Detection and Surveillance of Pathogens During Outbreaks

Infectious diseases pose a constant threat to public health. The current COVID-19 global pandemic (caused by the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2) has forced society to face unforeseen challenges and adjust to a new reality. As coronavirus strain mutations emerge and pose new challenges in combating the pandemic, the need to detect and monitor the airborne viral load in critical areas is more important than ever.

See our experts’ publication in PDA Letter:
COVID-19 Puts Focus on Airborne Virus and Pathogenic Microorganism Detection Methods

Case Study demonstrating the use of our MD8 Airport and Gelatine Filters to Monitor Airborne SARS-CoV-2

In response to the pandemic, many Sartorius customers have deployed biosurveillance programs to ensure their air purification systems are effective. Learn how our MD8 Airport & Gelatine Filters - paired with the mBioCoV-19 RT PCR kit from Nusantics - are being used to monitor air quality at Cinema XXI. With the implementation of such monitoring systems, Cinema XXI hopes to create a safe environment for patrons to return to.

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MD8 Air Samplers

Designed to sample and detect the smallest viruses and microorganisms in your surroundings

MD8 air samplers, MD8 Airscan® and the portable MD8 Airport - when paired with our unique Gelatine Membrane Filters (GMF) - retain the smallest of viruses and microorganisms from the air. The MD8 Airscan® and MD8 Airport® are both used globally to monitor ambient air in cleanrooms, controlled and public areas for viable microorganisms and viruses.

The MD8 Airscan® enables non-stop, active air monitoring for at least eight hours, using a single gelatine membrane filter.

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MD8 Air Samplers

MD8 air samplers, MD8 airscan and portable AirPort MD8 for detection of airborne microorganisms.

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Gelatine Membrane Filters

Water-soluble gelatine membrane filters are the perfect way to quickly test for SARS-CoV-2. With the help of the portable MD8 air sampler, the air of all high-contamination risk areas can be sampled for coronavirus. The membrane can be dissolved in minimal volumes of water, aiding with RNA sample concentration from the start.

  • Gelatine filter solubility is ideal for rapid testing methods
  • The highest retention rates for bacteria, viruses, spores and phages

Single Use or Reusable Holder

Our gelatine membrane filters are available with a single-use filter base of 80 mm diameter or stainless-steel reusable filter holders, suitable for different diameters. 

Gelatine filters, in conjunction with the MD8 air sampler, offer the following features and benefits:

  • “Absolute” retention rate (99.9995% for Bac. sub. niger spores, 99.94% for T3 phages)
  • Maintained viability of collected microorganisms for a relevant and meaningful sampling time
  • Water-soluble, a requirement for virus sampling

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Gelatin Membrane Filters

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Understanding Airborne Transmission of the COVID 19

New scientific evidence on the transmission of SARS-CoV-2 suggests that aerosols can function as potential transmission pathways for COVID-19 in addition to respiratory droplets. Further research is underway to better understand the spread of the virus and its emerging variants in different settings.

Detection of airborne viruses including SARS-CoV-2

See how experts have used the Sartorius air samplers and Gelatine Membrane Filters in different virus detection areas and research experiments!

Healthcare Settings

Reduce the risk of transmission by monitoring airborne viruses. Evaluate the effectiveness of sanitization and air filtration, air exchange, and ventilation. 

Razzini, K. , Castrica, M. Menchetti, L. et al 
SARS-CoV-2 RNA detection in the air and on surfaces in the COVID-19 ward of a hospital in Milan, Italy
Science of the Total Environment (2020)

Cheng VC, Wong SC, Chan VW, et al.
Air and environmental sampling for SARS-CoV-2 around hospitalized patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)
[published online ahead of print, 2020 Jun 8].
Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol. 2020;1-32.

Liu, Y., Ning, Z., Chen, Y. et al. Aerodynamic analysis of SARS-CoV-2 in two Wuhan hospitalsNature (2020).

Ong SWX, Tan YK, Chia PY, et al. 2020.
Air, Surface Environmental, and Personal Protective Equipment Contamination by Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) From a Symptomatic Patient. JAMA. Published online March 04, 2020.
Joshua L Santarpia, Danielle N Rivera, Vicki Herrera, et al. 2020.
Transmission Potential of SARS-CoV-2 in Viral Shedding Observed at the University of Nebraska Medical Center.

New! See how indoor air of households inhabited by a Covid-19 positive patient was sampled by using a MD8 Airport (Sartorius) collector with gelatin filters.

Rodríguez, M., Palop, L.,  Seseña, S. et al
Are the Portable Air Cleaners (PAC) really effective to terminate airborne SARS-CoV- 2?
Science of the Total Environment (2021)

Identify risk points in passenger environments and guide measures to minimize transmission of respiratory viruses.

Ikonen, N., Savolainen-Kopra, C., Enstone, J.E. et al. 2018.
Deposition of Respiratory Virus Pathogens on Frequently Touched Surfaces at Airports. BMC Infect Dis 18, 437 (2018).
Detection of coronavirus in the air of public areas in Wuhan
Yuan Liu, Zhi Ning, Yu Chen, et al. 2020.
Aerodynamic Characteristics and RNA Concentration of SARS-CoV-2 Aerosol in Wuhan Hospitals during COVID-19 Outbreak.
bioRxiv. doi:

Study of potential transmission pathways (aerosol and fomite transmission) of viruses.

Neeltje van Doremalen, Trenton Bushmaker, Dylan H. Morris et al. 2020.
Aerosol and Surface Stability of SARS-CoV-2 as Compared with SARS-CoV-1. The New England Journal of Medicine.
DOI: 10.1056/NEJMc2004973
Etsuko Hatagishi, Michiko Okamoto, Suguru Ohmiya  et al. 2014.
Establishment and Clinical Applications of a Portable System for Capturing Influenza Viruses Released through Coughing. PLOS ONE, Volume 9 e103560.

Azhar EI, Hashem AM, El-Kafrawy SA, et al. 2014.
Detection of the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus Genome in an Air Sample Originating from a Camel Barn Owned by an Infected Patient, 2014
Vergara-Alert J, Raj VS, Mu~noz M, et al. 2017.
Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus experimental transmission using a pig model.
Sung-Han Kim, So Young Chang, Minki Sung et al. 2016.
Extensive Viable Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) Coronavirus Contamination in Air and Surrounding Environment in MERS Isolation Wards, Clinical Infectious Diseases, Volume 63, Issue 3, 1 August 2016, Pages 363–369,

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Coronavirus Detection from Aerosols

Demonstrating the successful integration of gelatin membrane filters for air sampling into real-time PCR-based SARS-CoV-2 detection systems

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MD8 Airport: The Portable Air Sampler

Portable, Reliable, Fast

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