Rapid RNA/DNA extraction from swabs and saliva

Fast manual nucleic acid extraction using SwiftX™ Swabs protocols

Intended Purpose (CE-IVD):

SwiftX Swabs is intended to be used for extraction of RNA and DNA from swab and saliva samples taken from humans. For professional use.


Intended Purpose (RUO):

SwiftX Swabs is designed for rapid extraction of RNA and DNA from swabs, transport media and saliva.


Key Features:

Rapid, cost-efficient nucleic acid extraction

SwiftX™ Swabs allows for a time- and cost-efficient one-step extraction of RNA and DNA. The kit contains two enzymes that facilitate the release fo particles from the swab surface and the inactivation of inhibitors such as nucleases. It is most efficient if swabbed samples are applied directly to the extraction procedure instead of being eluted in a transport medium.


Applicable extraction targets:

  • Viruses
  • Human and animal cells
  • Bacteria
  • Parasites


Applicable sample types:

  • Dry swabs (nasal, oral, skin, tracheal, environmental samples)
  • Swabs in transport media
  • Saliva

How to use

Extraction of nucleic acids directly from swabs:

  • elute swabbed material by swirling in activated Component E
  • cut of the swab tip or remove the swab
  • incubate 15 minutes at 90°C
  • cool down and mix shortly
  • use lysate for downstream application


Extraction of nucleic acids from liquid samples:

  • mix liquid specimen with activated Component E
  • incubate 15 minutes at 90°C
  • cool down and mix shortly
  • use lysate for downstream application




Scientific literature



SwiftX™ Swabs is primarily used by in-vitro diagnostic laboratories. That is why almost no scientific literature is available.


Frequently Asked Questions

There's always more to learn

Can I shorten the heat lysis step in SwiftX™ Swabs?

We recommend to keep the 15 minutes of heat incubation for DNA and RNA extraction in SwiftX Swabs unchanged. It enables an efficient release of nucleic acids from cells and viral particles. At the same time, it ensures that the enzymes in activated Component E are sufficiently inactivated at the end of the extraction process in order to avoid interference with downstream RNA/DNA amplification and detection methods. However, you can try to reduce the heating time to 10 minutes, but you need to validate the compatibility of the extracted nucleic acids with your downstream application.


Does the heat lysis of 15 minutes harm or degrade my RNA or DNA?

No, it does not. Even RNA is not degraded in significant amounts during the incubation at 90°C. The lysis buffer of SwiftX Swabs, Component E, has been formulated to avoid chemical stress to the nucleic acids in the sample.


What sample types can be extracted with SwiftX™ Swabs?

The sample material, which SwiftX Swabs was initially been designed to be used with, are dry swabs. SwiftX Swabs is the perfect solution to extract RNA and DNA from all sorts of swabs: polyester as well as cotton swbas no matter if woven or flocked.

In addition, SwiftX Swabs can also be used to extract DNA and RNA from liquid samples such as swab material eluted in transport medium or saliva. Working with this type of samples requires the application of the second extraction protocol described in the IFU.


Which transport media can be processed with SwiftX™ Swabs?

Since SwiftX Swabs is a direct extraction method, it cannot be applied to extract nucleic acids from transport media, which contain inactivating agents such as guanidinium or alcohols. RNA or DNA extracted from such specimens would inhibit downstream methods that are enzyme driven, such as PCR, isothermal amplification or sequencing.