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L'înformâtion et les sèrvices publyis pouor I'Île dé Jèrri

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Thermal cycles of PCR tests (FOI)

Thermal cycles of PCR tests (FOI)

Produced by the Freedom of Information office
Authored by Government of Jersey and published on 21 December 2020.
Prepared internally, no external costs.



Please advise where you purchased the PCR tests that are being used in the Island?


Please also advise how many thermal cycles you are running the PCR tests.

A typical RT-PCR assay will have a maximum of 40 thermal cycles. The lower the Ct value the higher the quantity of viral genetic material in the sample (as an approximate proxy for viral load). Ct values obtained in this way are semi-quantitative and are able to distinguish between high and low viral load. A three point increase in Ct value is roughly equivalent to a 10-fold decrease in the quantity of viral genetic material.



rt-PCR tests are conducted which are a combination of two core processes.

  • Viral RNA Extraction We are using the Maxwell® HT Viral TNA Kit which uses magnetic beads to extract the viral RNA qPCR preparation and analysis.

  • The CE marked RealStar® SARS-CoV-2 kit is being used for the rt-PCR process.


40 thermal cycles

The following is used: qPCR machine, qTower from AnalytikJena.

We have created a YouTube channel which gives insights into different biotechnologies and applications including rt-PCR testing and our laboratories. Here the most relevant:

Walk-through CONTAIN Laboratory

An overview of automated RNA extraction

PCR Testing for rapid COVID detection - How to

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