Big distributors like Gentaur had already built up a filter tip stock to continue supplying filter tips to diagnostic and forensic laboratories but this stock is already lacking the large filter tips. Small filter tips are still available.
Apparently, this will not be sufficient since the world’s demand for tips has increased too fast due to increased corona detection with Pcr.
Pcr, polymerase chain reaction is a technique to amplify DNA using a Thermocycler workstation and TAQ polymerase. (Enzyme from the bacteria Thermus Aquaticus) Pcr is used in forensic laboratories, diagnostic laboratories, and research laboratories. Detection of cancer variations, HPV human papillomavirus and Tuberculosis resistance with spoligotyping depend on PCR.
Gentaur originally supplied filter tips from Neptune Scientific, in San Diego Ca, manufactured in Mexico. Our import is now restricted to 10 boxes a month but we need 500 boxes.
There are only little filter tip plants available in the world. Belgium, Poland have any production since our filter tips are made in Germany by Greiner, Corning, …
Gentaur tried to source filter tips in India but the Indian govrnment has in september 2020 put a ban on export of filter tips. The container with filter tips already sent to Europe had been recalled to return to Mumbai, Accumaximum the Indian manufacturer.
With no filter tips available in USA, Europe and India Gentaur is now trying to import filter tips from China but big Laboratories like Synlab have already priority with the Chinese manufacturers.
It will be a difficult winter for our forensic, diagnostic and research customers say Lieven Gevaert, the director of Gentaur Bvba in Kampenhout.
Our laboratory customers could swith tp work with smaller volumes since 10 ul filter tips are still available, but if these will be out of stock they will be technically unemployed.
Since the 90s Pcr has become more and more important in our scientific laboratories. I cannot imagine this winter we will return to a situation of before the 90s where criminals cannot be traced anymore, cancer cannot be characterized and viruses not detected.
There is still the antigen and antibody detection techniques of Covid but this lacks in detection speed from the day someone got infected by covid.
Pcr can detect as early as in 2 days, antigen 3 to 4 days and antibody 5 to 7 days after a person contact with a Covid contamination