FAQ: What is the purpose of Carrier RNA, and is it necessary to include in the extraction?

Adding carrier RNA (poly(A)) to samples during processing can enhance the recovery of low amounts of viral RNA and DNA by acting as a co-precipitant. It also can reduce the likelihood of viral RNA degradation due to RNases by acting as a decoy. Users may omit the use of carrier RNA; however, viral DNA and RNA recovery may be reduced. Carrier RNA should be omitted if the downstream application utilizes a poly(A) RNA enrichment step.