Product FAQ

Want to know more about how Udetect works? Check out our FAQ for quick answers. Want to know more in detail? Get in touch with us via the contact page.


In my lab we already do qPCR analyses, but we don’t have the resources to develop qPCR analyzes on new bacteria. What are the possibilities?

Udetect is also available for laboratories that already perform qPCR analysis as “white lable qPCR”. You can order Udetect Target Tubes, see our list of analyzes. We provide custom software for quantification purposes. Contact us for more information.

What is the shelf life of the consumables?

The shelf life for our unopened Udetect Target tubes is 2 year (keep cool and dry).

What is qPCR?

qPCR, or quantative Polymerase Chain Reaction, quantifies the amount of DNA (or cells) of bacteria or virusses in a sample. In the case of Udetect, it analyses the amount of your selected target (e.g. E. Coli) in a water sample.

Is Udetect suitable for analyzing viruses?

Yes, in principle, Udetect is suitable for analysing virusses. If you are considering measuring viruses in water on a regular basis (>250 times a year), please contact us about the possibilities.

Is the filter reusable or does a lot of plastic have to be thrown away?

To avoid cross-contamination, it is imperative that we use sterile single-use plastics.

Does Udetect analyze total coliform bacteria?

General/total coliforms are not a genetically distinct group of micro-organisms and therefore can’t as such be analysed by qPCR (requires a genetic similarity). For culturing they are typified as being lactase positive and a qPCR might therefore be used for the lacZ gen. This is something we could look into or develop a kit for […]

How have you simplified the DNA isolation process?

It’s a step by step protocol. No centrifuge, no incubation at specific temperatures, no phenol and/or chloroform, etc. Generally a lab protocol takes about 40-60 minutes (although this is sometimes longer), Udetect DNA isolation takes 15-20 minutes.

How many samples can we get from each run?

This depends on how many targets and controls you want to include in a run. There are 16 spots available in the Udetect device. If analysing 1 bacterium, then 8 samples can be run at the same time (each sample is analysed for the internal control and then separately for the target). Alternatively it is […]

What are Udetect’s unique selling points?

Udetect is a complete pipeline, from water sample to result. Orvion has years of practical experience measuring bacteria in environmental water samples by qPCR. qPCR has its origin in the medical or food/feed sector and suppliers of qPCR/kits are therefore often mainly active in this sector. However, this is a very different use case when […]

What primers do you use to target bacteria?

We design our own primers and do not simply use primers published in scientific literature as we have found that these can underperform in practise (unspecific, inefficient, …), especially when used for analysis of environmental samples.

Do you develop custom primers when a broader data scan is needed?

We are constantly developing new targets. If you want to analyse bacteria that are not listed and you want to analyse on a regular basis (>250 times a year), please contact us about the possibilities.

Have you tested at low levels of ambient E. coli (not lab strains)?

Tests are performed almost exclusively with environmental E. coli, not laboratory strains.

What about the sensitivity? Isn’t a PCR based on RNA (ie RT-qPCR) more sensitive than a PCR on DNA (qPCR)?

If metabolically active cells are present, then detecting RNA lowers the detection limit of an assay. However the analysis is then no longer quantitative as it is unknown if there are many inactive cells present, or just a few active ones. It depends on the use case whether this is necessary or not.

Will Udetect also count damaged non-viable cells?

Damaged non-viable cells may be detected by qPCR.

Which bacteria can be measured?

See our list. In principle, all micro-organisms can be analysed with Udetect. We are constantly developing new targets. If you want to analyse bacteria that are not listed and you want to analyse on a regular basis (>250 times a year), please contact us about the possibilities.

How much water can usually be filtered to concentrate the bacteria (for typical drinking water)?

Typically it is possible to filter anywhere from 200 ml- 2 litres. You can determine the volume for your optimal detection limit by performing a simple test.

What is the detection limit of Udetect

The detection limit depends on the type of water being analyzed and the filtered volume. It will probably be in the 1/10 gu/ml range.

What is the time span between the water sample and a digital result?

It takes 15-20 minutes of treatment time and less than 90 minutes of waiting time. Less than 2 hours in total.

Has Udetect been validated?

Yes, KWR and Deltares have validated and compared Udetect with MPN and qPCR analysis in the lab. Check our website for the results.

How do I compare cell/ml with MPN?

If you want to compare results, you have to make a new baseline with qpCR analyses and compare them with MPN. We have data available, look at our website or contact us via

Can I compare Udetect results with MPN/culture based analysis

Not really. Udetect uses qPCR technology which is a different technique then culture based analysis. The techniques have a different output. We made a comparison for E.coli. Click here for more information (link to page with MPN/qPCR results). There have been some studies on comparing qPCR with MPN, e.g. from AGLAE in France (see link […]

What does the output of the analysis look like?

An example of the output: Legionella: 1,3*10EXP3 gu/ml

I have no lab experience. Do I have to be a lab assistant to use Udetect?

No. Udetect on site and in field can be used by non-specialists with a short online training. More information on the training can be found here. For an example of the user experience please watch the video with Sander van Eijck from AQUON.

Does Udetect meet WHO standards?

Yes, in the WHO guidelines for drinking water quality, qPCR is named as one of the technolgies to detect organisms. See, paragraph 7.4, page 174

Does Udetect provide Certificate of Analysis (COAs) ?

The included software will provide analysis results in the form of gu/ml. We can provide COAs when our laboratory qPCR service is used.

What is the shelf-life of Udetect Target Tubes?

The shelf life for our unopened Udetect Target tubes is 2 years After opening, keep in closed zip bag, store in a dry and cool environment, preferably in a fridge. Keep below 25 degrees Celsius during field trips.

How do you recommend safely dispose of the Udetect DNA isolation reagents?

DO NOT add bleach or acidic solutions directly to the liquids contained in the Udetect DNA Isolation kit. Some of the buffers contain guanidine salts, which can form highly reactive compounds when combined with sodium hypochlorite (a.k.a. liquid bleach). If liquid containing these buffers is spilled, clean with suitable laboratory detergent and water, or 70% […]

How is your Udetect DNA isolation “lab-free”?

All the required materials and chemicals needed for a qPCR analysis are included in the Udetect system. This means the analyses can be performed in the field without any laboratory equipment or high level of experience.

Where can I report a bug, problem, or error?

Please report any issues with the device or software to

What fluorophores do you recommend for use with Udetect?

The Udetect hardware supports several fluorescent dye systems; SYBR green I, ResoLight, FAM, VIC, HEX, ATTO 490LS, CAL 540, CAL 560, LC Green, ROX and SYTO 9. Our target tubes, specialized for the Udetect method, make use of a FAM dye.

Will the Thermocycler accept standard PCR tubes?

The fluorescent signal is measured from beneath the PCR tube, so as long as the tube is lab-grade and translucent, it can be tested for compatibility.

Is the Thermocycler battery powered?

Although the Udetect thermocycler can be powered by a 12V car battery, a battery is not included in the product.

How do I maintain and decontaminate my Thermocylcer?

The outside of the Thermocycler can be cleaned using a disinfecting wipe (e.g. Lysol) solution. Do not spray or pour solution directly onto the thermocycler when cleaning. Ensure no excess liquid is used when cleaning as it may damage the unit. For further instructions we refer to the user guide -Do not disassemble the […]

Can a Thermocycler get through airport security?

Yes! All Udetect products have been cleared for international travel. For additional information in regards to traveling with Udetect products, please reach out to us at

What is the Thermocycler’s warranty?

Ovion warrants every Thermocycler to be free of defects in material and workmanship for one year from the date of shipment to the buyer. All warranties are subject to our Terms and Conditions. If you have any questions, please contact Udetect Customer Support by sending an email to

How do I ship my Thermocycler back for repair?

Contact our support team ( to get instructions for shipping the Thermocycler.