QIAamp Viral RNA Kits for RNA Extraction

For viral RNA isolation from cell-free body fluids


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QIAamp Viral RNA Mini Kit (50)

Cat. No. / ID:  52904

For 50 RNA preps: 50 QIAamp Mini Spin Columns, carrier RNA, Collection Tubes (2 ml), RNase-free buffers
QIAamp Viral RNA Kit
QIAamp Viral RNA Mini Accessory Set
Carrier RNA
Column typePlate type
Mini QIAcube
96 well
QIAamp Viral RNA Kits are intended for molecular biology applications. These products are not intended for the diagnosis, prevention, or treatment of a disease.

✓ 24/7 automatic processing of online orders

✓ Knowledgeable and professional Product & Technical Support

✓ Fast and reliable (re)-ordering


  • Rapid isolation of high-quality, ready-to-use RNA
  • No organic extraction or alcohol precipitation
  • Complete removal of contaminants and inhibitors
  • RNA isolation from viruses, such as SARS-CoV-2, up to 96-well format
  • Automated purification from low to ultra-high throughput format

Product Details

QIAamp Viral RNA Kits simplify viral RNA purification from cell-free body fluids with fast spin-column, vacuum and plate centrifugation procedures. Viral RNA binds specifically to the QIAamp silica membrane, and pure viral RNA is eluted in either water or a buffer provided with the kit. Purification can be fully automated on the QIAcube Connect using the QIAamp Viral RNA Mini Kit or dedicated QIAamp Viral RNA Mini QIAcube Kit. Various options for automation of the QIAamp 96 Viral Kit on instruments including the QIAcube HT, the Fluent 780 from Tecan or the epMotion 5075V from Eppendorf support high to ultra-high throughput processing with minimal hands-on time.

QIAamp Viral RNA Mini and QIAamp 96 Viral RNA standard protocols can also be executed using the TRACKMAN Connected system, paired with PIPETMAN M Connected pipettes, both from Gilson. The TRACKMAN Connected system guides researchers through QIAamp Viral RNA Mini or QIAamp 96 Viral RNA protocols while automatically adjusting the Bluetooth-enabled PIPETMAN M Connected pipette settings. Each step of the protocol execution is recorded to accelerate reporting by generating a comprehensive run report. Download more information.


The high-quality viral RNA isolated using the QIAamp Viral RNA Mini Kit and QIAamp Viral RNA Mini QIAcube Kit performs well in a wide range of downstream applications, including viral genotyping, viral epidemiology and infectious disease research (see figure " Amplification of RNA from plasma").

The QIAamp Viral RNA Mini QIAcube Kit includes rotor adapters that are preloaded with QIAamp spin columns and elution tubes, delivering greater convenience and time savings (see figure " Significant time savings"). Furthermore, ease of use is increased and user errors minimized. Waste is reduced because the content of the dedicated kit is tailored for purification on the QIAcube Connect and the superfluous tubes that are required for the manual procedure are not included.

The QIAamp 96 Viral RNA Kit has been successfully used to recover RNA from viruses, including SARS-CoV-2 virus (see figure “ Comparison of SARS-CoV-2 isolation”). Performance of the QIAamp 96 Viral RNA Kit is comparable to that achieved with the QIAamp Viral RNA Mini Kit (see figure “ Reliable RNA recovery”). RNA isolation is proven from commonly used saliva collection and stabilization methods (See figure “ Compatibility with saliva stabilization methods”) and no cross-contamination was detected (see figure “ No cross-contamination”).

See figures


The QIAamp Viral RNA Mini Kit and QIAamp Viral RNA Mini QIAcube Kit simplify viral RNA purification from cell-free body fluids with fast spin-column, vacuum or automated procedures. The QIAamp 96 Viral RNA Kit simplifies viral RNA isolation from nasotracheal swabs. No phenol–chloroform extraction is required. Viral RNA binds specifically to the QIAamp silica membrane while contaminants pass through. PCR inhibitors, such as divalent cations and proteins, are completely removed in two efficient wash steps, leaving pure viral RNA to be eluted in either water or a buffer provided with the kit.

QIAamp RNA technology yields viral RNA from cell-free body fluids ready to use in RT-PCR and blotting procedures. QIAamp sample preparation technology is fully licensed.


Optimized buffers and enzymes lyse samples, stabilize nucleic acids and enhance selective RNA adsorption to the QIAamp membrane. To guarantee RNA integrity, samples are lysed under highly denaturing conditions to inactivate RNases. Alcohol is added and lysates loaded onto the QIAamp spin column or 96-well plate. Wash buffers are used to remove impurities and pure, ready-to-use RNA is then eluted in water or low-salt buffer.

Vacuum processing

For greater speed and convenience in RNA purification, samples can be processed by vacuum instead of centrifugation. QIAamp Mini spin columns are accommodated on the QIAvac 24 manifold using VacValves and VacConnectors, provided in the QIAamp Vac Accessory Set. VacValves should be used if sample flow rates differ significantly to ensure consistent vacuum. Disposable VacConnectors are used to avoid any cross-contamination.

Automated processing on the QIAcube Connect

A dedicated QIAamp Viral RNA QIAcube Kit enables automated processing on the QIAcube Connect. In addition, the QIAamp Viral RNA Mini Kit is automatable on the QIAcube Connect. The QIAamp Viral RNA Mini Accessory Set provides the additional buffers and reagents needed for automated, low-throughput sample prep using both the QIAcube Connect and QIAamp Viral RNA Mini Kit.

Processing in 96-well format

The QIAamp 96 Viral RNA Kit is automatable on various instruments.

We recommend the use of the Centrifuge 4-16S or Centrifuge 4-16KS for centrifuge processing. Alternative centrifuges with swing-out rotor, minimum 5788 x g capacity and the ability to accommodate plate assemblies with a height of minimum 75 mm or more may be used. Centrifuges with lower g-force (minimum 3486 x g) can be used with an alternative protocol.

Plasticware recommended for centrifugation processing: Plastic consumables need to be in SBS format and must be able to withstand the necessary g-forces. Deep-well plates need to have a capacity of 2 ml and elution plates need to have a capacity of ≥500 µl. Four deep-well plates and one elution plate are required for processing of 96 samples.


QIAamp Viral RNA Kits simplify viral RNA purification from cell-free body fluids, offering fast spin-column, vacuum or plate centrifugation procedures, or automation on QIAcube. Sample types include:

  • Plasma and serum
  • CSF
  • Urine
  • Other cell-free body fluids
  • Cell-culture supernatants
  • Swabs


Comparison of QIAamp Viral RNA Kits
Features QIAamp Viral RNA Mini Kit QIAamp 96 Viral RNA Kit
Applications PCR, qPCR, real-time PCR PCR, qPCR, real-time PCR
Elution volume 50 µl 80 µl
Format Spin columns 96-well plate
Main sample type Liquid media Liquid media
Processing Manual (centrifugation or vacuum) Manual (centrifugation or vacuum)
Purification of total RNA, miRNA, poly A+ mRNA, DNA or protein Viral RNA Viral RNA
Sample amount 140 µl 140 µl solution from a swab sample
Technology Silica technology Silica technology
Time per run or per prep 20–40 minutes  
Yield >90% recovery  

Supporting data and figures


Safety Data Sheets (1)
Kit Handbooks (4)
For purification of viral RNA from plasma, serum, cell-free body fluids, cell-culture supernatants
Supplementary Protocols (1)
Quick-Start Protocols (1)
Certificates of Analysis (1)


Mutation of a diacidic motif in SIV-PBj Nef impairs T-cell activation and enteropathic disease.
Tschulena U; Sanzenbacher R; Mühlebach MD; Berger A; Münch J; Schindler M; Kirchhoff F; Plesker R; Coulibaly C; Panitz S; Prüfer S; Muckenfuss H; Hamdorf M; Schweizer M; Cichutek K; Flory E;
Retrovirology; 2011; 8 :14 2011 Mar 2 PMID:21366921
Detection and differentiation of tick-borne encephalitis virus subtypes by a reverse transcription quantitative real-time PCR and pyrosequencing.
Achazi K; Nitsche A; Patel P; Radonić A; Donoso Mantke O; Niedrig M;
J Virol Methods; 2010; 171 (1):34-9 2010 Oct 7 PMID:20933016
Efficacy and safety of an antiviral Iota-Carrageenan nasal spray: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled exploratory study in volunteers with early symptoms of the common cold.
Eccles R; Meier C; Jawad M; Weinmüllner R; Grassauer A; Prieschl-Grassauer E;
Respir Res; 2010; 11 (1):108 2010 Aug 10 PMID:20696083
Oseltamivir-resistant influenza A 2009 H1N1 virus in immunocompromised patients.
Couturier BA; Bender JM; Schwarz MA; Pavia AT; Hanson KE; She RC;
Influenza Other Respir Viruses; 2010; 4 (4):199-204 2010 Jul PMID:20836794
Conserved charged amino acids within Sendai virus C protein play multiple roles in the evasion of innate immune responses.
Irie T; Nagata N; Igarashi T; Okamoto I; Sakaguchi T;
PLoS One; 2010; 5 (5):e10719 2010 May 19 PMID:20502666


Is QIAGEN carrier RNA sold separately?

Yes, Carrier RNA is available separately. It is sold in combination with other buffers in the QIAamp MinElute Virus Accessory Set and the QIAamp Viral RNA Mini Accessory Set.    

In addition, Poly-A Carrier RNA by itself, without any buffers, is offered under the following catalog numbers:

•1017647: 12 vials, each containing 1350 µg lyophilized carrier RNA

•1068337: 1 vial containing 310 µg lyophilized carrier RNA

FAQ ID -351
Why and when is it necessary to use carrier DNA/RNA in the extraction procedure?

The addition of carrier nucleic acids increases the yield of extracted DNA/RNA from analytical samples. Especially when starting from samples low in pathogen or DNA/RNA concentration (e.g. cerebrospinal fluid), we highly recommend to use poly(A)-homopolymers (AmershamBiosciences, Cat. no.: 27-4110-02) as a carrier nucleic acid.

Carrier RNA is not required when sample material containing an excess amount of DNA is used, such as stool, blood cells and others.

Please note that some extraction kits, e.g. the QIAamp Viral RNA Mini Kit, already contain carrier RNA (supplement to the lysis buffer). In these cases, additional poly(A) carrier RNA is not required

FAQ ID -1489
Do you have a protocol for the isolation of viral RNA from stool?
Yes, please follow the User-Developed Protocol Isolation of viral RNA from stool using the QIAamp Viral RNA Mini Kit.
FAQ ID -918
What is the difference between QIAGEN Protease and QIAGEN Proteinase K provided in various QIAamp Kits?

QIAGEN Proteinase K is a subtilisin-type protease, which cleaves at the carboxyl side of hydrophobic, aliphatic and aromatic amino acids. It is particularly suitable for short digestion times. It possesses a high specific activity over a wide range of temperatures and pH values with substantially increased activity at higher temperature. Soluble calcium is not essential for enzymatic activity. This means that EDTA, which is used to inhibit Mg2+-dependent enzymes such as nucleases, will not inhibit Proteinase K activity.

QIAGEN Protease is a broad-specificity Serine protease with high activity, cleaving preferentially at neutral and acidic residues. It is an economical alternative to Proteinase K for isolation of native DNA and RNA from a variety of samples.

FAQ ID -761
Why is the QIAamp Viral RNA Mini Kit (50) currently unavailable?

The QIAamp Viral RNA Mini Kit (cat. no. 52904 or 52906) is one of the reagents used worldwide to isolate viral RNA from respiratory samples and is currently also used to detect coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, which causes COVID-19.

During the pandemic, we are focused on ramping up production of the larger kit size QIAamp Viral RNA Mini Kit (250), cat. no. 52906. During this time, the smaller kit size will be unavailable. The two kits are identical in their use and performance.

FAQ ID -147395
What can be used as an alternative to the A260 measurement for quantification of small amounts of RNA and DNA?

Small amounts of RNA and DNA may be difficult to measure spectrophotometrically. Fluorometric measurements, or quantitative RT-PCR and PCR are more sensitive and accurate methods to quantify low amounts of RNA or DNA.

Fluorometric measurements are carried out using nucleic acid binding dyes, such as RiboGreen® RNA Quantitation Reagent for RNA, and PicoGreen® DNA Quantitation Reagent for DNA (Molecular Probes, Inc.).

FAQ ID -728
What dedicated QIAcube Kits are available?
What is the average amount of DNA and RNA present in 1 ml normal serum?

According to an Interview with Professor Dennis Lo published in QIAGEN News Molecular Diagnostics, Issue No. 5, 2002, healthy individuals have about 500-1000 genome equivalents (DNA) per ml serum/plasma.

For free-circulating DNA in plasma, the concentration can range from 1–100 ng/ml in healthy individuals.

FAQ ID -635
What has to be done to an RNA sample before loading it onto an Agilent Bioanalyzer?

For RNA isolated on the BioRobot EZ1 and BioRobot M48:

The RNA can be directly applied to the Agilent Bioanalyzer, since it is being denatured in the final protocol steps of these isolation procedures.

For RNA prepared with all other QIAGEN RNA Isolation Products:

We recommend to denature the samples in a water bath for 2 min at 70°C, and then place them directly on ice prior to loading them onto the Agilent Bioanalyzer.


FAQ ID -528
How do I safely inactivate biohazardous flow-through material?

Always dispose of potentially biohazardous solutions according to your institution’s waste-disposal guidelines. Although the lysis and binding buffers in QIAamp, DNeasy, and RNeasy kits contain chaotropic agents that can inactivate some biohazardous material, local regulations dictate the proper way to dispose of biohazards. DO NOT add bleach or acidic solutions directly to the sample-preparation waste. Guanidine hydrochloride in the sample-preparation waste can form highly reactive compounds when combined with bleach.
Please access our Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) online for detailed information on the reagents for each respective kit.

FAQ ID -12