Pioneering diagnostics

Novel coronavirus (COVID-19)

In December 2019, an outbreak of pneumonia and acute respiratory infection occurred in the city of Wuhan (Hubei province - China). The COVID-19 coronavirus, which is unlike other coronaviruses encountered to date, has been identified as the causative agent of the epidemic. It has spread mainly in China, but also in other countries.

This new strain of coronavirus has never before been identified in humans. The symptoms are similar to a respiratory tract infection and, in some cases, severe pneumonia: cough, fever, difficulty breathing. Human-to-human transmission probably occurs through close contact with a sick person (shared living space, direct contact at less than 1 meter when coughing, sneezing or talking, and contact with surfaces and objects contaminated by an infected person taking no protective measures). The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that the incubation period lasts from 1 to 14 days.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) diagnostic tests

When a patient has a respiratory infection, diagnostic tests make it possible to confirm or rule out whether the pathogen responsible for the infection is coronavirus COVID-19. The test results support patient care decisions and enable the appropriate hygiene measures to be taken in order to limit the risk of transmission/contagion.

bioMérieux studied the genetic sequence of the COVID-19 strain that appeared in Wuhan as soon as it became available. It turns out to be quite different from other strains of coronavirus that typically cause respiratory infections in humans. Consequently, the bioMérieux tests that detect coronaviruses are not able to detect this new strain, COVID-19 .

True to its commitment to public health, bioMérieux is specialized in the fight against infectious diseases. Right now, our research teams are working to urgently develop diagnostic tests to detect the COVID-19.


“We can count on the solid expertise of our teams, built on more than 55 years of experience in the diagnosis of infectious diseases. We know how to provide high medical value solutions and to mobilize the necessary means to help combat this epidemic, as we have done during past emergencies, such as when we developed diagnostic tests for the Ebola virus epidemic in 2014.”

Mark Miller,
MD and Executive Vice-President, Chief Medical Officer at bioMérieux


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