In a pilot project, researchers of the "Vienna COVID-19 Detection Initiative" (VCDI) at the Vienna BioCenter, Caritas of the Archdiocese of Vienna and the association Novid20 show how institutions can continuously screen larger groups of people for COVID-19 cases. Initial practical tests lead to important findings - and save lives.
SARSeq works with any type of sample - saliva, gargle, or nasal swabs - and is able to detect influenza A and influenza B viruses, as well as rhinoviruses. It presents an additional method for high-throughput, scalable testing for SARS-CoV-2, as well as other infections.
To close the knowledge gap on the role of school children in the COVID-19 pandemic the VCDI has initiated large-scale monitoring projects at Austrian schools using gargling in combination with pooling and RT-qPCR.
To enable routine monitoring for COVID-19 infections, the VCDI has established a technically robust, cost-effective, and scalable RT-qPCR testing pipeline based on standard laboratory equipment.
Over the course of only three months, a team of Vienna BioCenter scientists that participate in the VCDI efforts pushed SARS-CoV-2 detection to a new level. They now presented their approach in a preprint paper.
The creative energy and passion of our researchers exemplify what the VCDI is all about, from the development of a self-sampling protocol for routine SARS-CoV-2 screening to exploring innovative and cost-effective assays for COVID-19 surveillance in the population at large.
What is the virus - SARS-CoV-2 - at the heart of the COVID-19 pandemic? Where did it come from? Why is it so infectious and how can our bodies fight it?
The VCDI is funded by the COVID-19 Rapid Response Call of the WWTF.