nCounter® Host Response Panel

Study the phases and progression of infection across the five major components of the host response with the pathogen-agnostic content of the nCounter Host Response Panel. Rapidly advance knowledge of emerging infectious disease with experiments that take minutes to set-up and get results in less than 24 hours.


  • Profile 785 human genes across 50+ pathways optimized for blood but suitable for all sample types
  • Study the five elements of the host response
    • Host Susceptibility
    • Interferon Response
    • Innate Immune Cell Activation
    • Adaptive Immune Response
    • Homeostasis
  • Detect the presence of a pathogen and evaluate organ-specific tissue damage with a Panel Plus spike-in
  • Develop signatures of host response dynamics
  • Identify and validate biomarkers for disease severity
  • Evaluate the effect of vaccines & therapies

Get off-the-shelf data analysis and publication-ready figures with the nSolver™ Analysis Software.

Biological Framework of the Host Response Panel


Host Susceptibility
(26 Genes)
Interferon Response
(288 Genes)
Innate Immune Cell Activation
(567 Genes)
Adaptive Immune Response
(483 Genes)
(282 Genes)
Angiotensin System ALPK1 Signaling Chemokine Signaling BCR Signaling Angiotensin System
Virus-Host Interaction DNA Sensing Cytoxicity Complement System Apoptosis
  Glycan Sensing Host Defense Peptides Immune Exhaustion Autophagy
  Inflammasomes IL-1 Signaling Immune Memory Coagulation
  Interferon Response Genes IL-2 Signaling Lymphocyte Trafficking HIF1A Signaling
  JAK/STAT Signaling IL-6 Signaling MHC Class I Antigen Presentation Leukotriene and Prostaglandin Inflammation
  MAPK Signaling IL-17 Signaling MHC Class II Antigen Presentation Lysosomes
  NLR Signaling Mononuclear Cell Migration Mononuclear Cell Migration Oxidative Stress Response
  RNA Sensing Myeloid Activation T cell Costimulation Proteotoxic Stress
  TLR Signaling Myeloid Inflammation TCR Signaling Tissue Stress
  TNF Signaling NK Activity TH1 Differentiation TNF Signaling
  Type I Interferon Signaling NF-kappaB Signaling TH2 Differentiation  
  Type II Interferon Signaling NO Signaling TH9 Differentiation  
  Type III Interferon Signaling Other Interleukin Signaling TH17 Differentiation  
    Oxidative Stress Response Treg Differentiation  
    PPAR Signaling    
    TGF-beta Signaling    
    TNF Signaling    

Customize your research project by adding tissue or pathogen-specific probes to the Host Response Panel with a 30-gene Panel Plus. Add the off-the-shelf 20-gene Coronavirus Panel Plus to study SARS-CoV-2 and other coronaviruses or build your own Panel Plus gene list with transcripts specific for different tissue types. Mix and match transcripts from the pathogen of your choice and additional host tissue markers to add a Panel Plus to the Host Response Panel for studying the pathogenesis of various infectious diseases.


Add up to 30 tissue relevant genes as a Panel Plus to the Host Response Panel to study organ damage wrought by COVID-19. Download the COVID-19 Tissue Reference Gene List to get ideas on which genes to add for studying the effect of COVID-19 on the kidney, GI tract, heart, liver, endothelium, lung, and brain. Check back often for updates as the NanoString Bioinformatics team continually adds to and refines these reference gene lists. The content is mined from publications and represents genes associated multiple times in the literature as related to a tissue in the context of COVID-19, as well as the top ten genes associated with that tissue. The rationale for each gene’s inclusion and its presence or absence in the Host Response Panel is noted. Each gene list can be used alongside any panel, please contact Bioinformatics for more information on which genes may already be present in your panel of interest.

Take advantage of comprehensive coverage of the most relevant immune checkpoints to study modulation of the host immune response and subsequent inflammatory cascade.

ADORA2A (A2aR) CD70 HAVCR2 (TIM3) CD274 (PD-L1) TNFRSF9 (4-1BB)
CD40 CD276 (B7-H3) LAG3 TNFRSF4 (OX40) TNFSF18 (GITRL)

Probes included in the Host Response Panel have high homology to non-human primates, allowing for seamless comparative infectious disease research as well as preclinical studies. Percent identity is used to estimate likelihood of the probe functioning on non-human primate targets. Additional comparisons with other NHP species are available upon request.

  Number of Genes
% Identity Cynomologus Macaque Rhesus Macaque
≥ 95 695 696
≥ 90 758 751
≥ 85 772 772

Genes included in the Host Response Panel provide unique cell profiling data to measure the relative abundance of 14 different immune cell types. The table below summarizes the genes included in each cell type signature, as qualified through biostatistical approaches and selected literature in the field

Cell Type Associated Human Genes
CD45+ cells PTPRC
CD8 T cells CD8A, CD8B
Dendritic cells CCL13, CD209, HSD11B1
Exhausted CD8 cells CD244, EOMES, LAG3, PTGER4
Macrophages CD163, CD68, CD84, MS4A4A
Mast cells CPA3, HDC, MS4A2, TPSAB1/B2
NK CD56dim cells IL21R, KIR2DL3, KIR3DL1/2
NK cells NCR1, XCL1/2
Neutrophils CEACAM3, CSF3R, FCAR, FCGR3A/B, FPR1, S100A12, SIGLEC5
T cells CD3D, CD3E, CD3G, CD6, SH2D1A, TRAT1
Th1 cells TBX21
Tregs FOXP3
Feature Specifications
Number of Targets 785 (Human), including 12 internal reference genes
Sample Input - Standard (No amplification required) 25-300 ng
Sample Input - Low Input As little as 1 ng with nCounter Low Input Kit and Primer Pools (sold separately)
Sample Type(s) Cultured cells/cell lysates, sorted cells, FFPE-derived RNA, total RNA, fragmented RNA, PBMCs, and whole blood/plasma
Customizable Add up to 30 unique genes with Panel-Plus and/or up to 10 custom protein targets
Time to Results Approximately 24 hours
Data Analysis nSolver™ Analysis Software (RUO)
Product Product Description Quantity Catalog Number
nCounter Human Host Response Panel Includes 785 genes; 12 internal reference genes for data normalization 12 Reactions XT-HHR-12
Coronavirus Panel Plus 20 Probe Panel Plus. Includes 9 probes targeting the SARS-CoV-2 virus, 1 probe for the human viral receptor ACE2, and 10 additional probes targeting SARS and other human coronaviruses 12 Reactions CORONAPP-12
Low RNA Input Kit Kit for use with all Low RNA Input Primer Pools 48 Reactions LOW-RNA-48
nCounter Master Kit (Max or FLEX Systems) Reagents and Cartridges Reagents, cartridges, and consumables necessary for sample processing on nCounter MAX and FLEX Systems 12 Reactions NAA-AKIT-012
nCounter SPRINT Cartridge 1 Cartridge, 12 lanes Sample Cartridge for nCounter SPRINT System 12 Reactions SPRINT-CAR-1.0
nCounter SPRINT Reagent Pack nCounter SPRINT Reagent Pack containing Reagents A, B, C, and Hybridization Buffer 192 Reactions SPRINT-REAG-KIT

For Research Use Only. Not for use in diagnostic procedures.