Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been an imperative need for specialized disposable virus sample collection and transport kits to facilitate successful virus movement prior to molecular detection assay for diagnosis. With an escalating need for Virus Sampling for Throat or Nasal Secretions, substantial research and development of Virus Transport Medium Kit (VTM kit) and Molecular Transport Media (MTM kit) have been conducted. Cell Culture diagnosis of COVID-19 infections is primarily reliant on aseptic viral samples. A variety of transport media have been developed over the years, and while some swab-tube combinations have shown to be successful and handy, there are still questions about pH and viral integrity.

Here’s everything you need to know about these transport media:

What makes MTM different from VTM?

The primary distinction between MTM and VTM is that molecular transport media completely destroys viruses, bacteria, fungi, and mycobacterium tuberculosis, enabling safer sample handling and transport and that ultimately lowering the risks of infections.

MTM is developed specifically to destroy pathogenic samples while retaining and stabilizing the released DNA and RNA. The denaturing agent present in MTM removes the coating of the virus (capsid), leaving it impossible to get reinfected while preserving viral nucleic acids for molecular diagnostics and sequencing.

Nowadays, molecular testing is widely used when compared to conventional microbiology testing, due to its superior performance and response time. Presently, the majority of approved COVID-19, as well as other infectious disease tests, are nucleic-acid-based molecular assays. Therefore, it is important to eliminate any pathogens present in the viral sample.

COVID-19 has led to a considerable surge in global demand for MTM and VTM kits. Advancells MTM kits are authorized tools for microbial nucleic acid storage and stabilization (RNA and DNA) suitable for the safe transportation of samples that may include viruses.

Advantages of MTM over VTM

Standard VTM kits are made for carrying undamaged viable microbiological samples for growth, which implies that there is still a biohazard that demands further laboratory work in a controlled setting. Furthermore, because the samples are alive, they must be stored and transported in a cold chain. These standard transport media kits may also contain enzymes that can destroy RNA/DNA, making molecular testing, such as PCR, impossible. Current molecular testing, on the other hand, only requires intact microbial nucleic acids, not live viruses.

The samples in the MTM can be securely maintained for up to seven days at room temperature or for 28 days at 2 to 8°C and can be reused multiple times. This not only reduces the hazards of handling live pathogenic samples but also saves money by eliminating the need for a cold chain and hence, MTM kits have a great advantage over VTM kits.

Advancells Group is a manufacturer of VTM and MTM kits and various other diagnostic tools that are important in these unprecedented times. If you want to know more about different types of transport media then connect with us at or give us a call on +91-9654321400.