DMB and ICH are ceasing regular testing for SARS-CoV-2

Employees and students of the Department of Medical Biology (DMB) and the Institute of Chemistry (ICH) of the Faculty of Science of the USB took part in resolving the critical situation of insufficient capacities for testing for the new coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 and they have tested 3455 samples in the BSL2 laboratories of the DMB since March 28.

The last patient samples from South Bohemian hospitals were tested on June 18 and further testing will be a matter of specific orders from various institutions.

26 employees and students, who took turns in several teams, took part in testing patient samples. Over time, the efficiency improved and using new detection kits also improved the sensitivity of detection. It was possible to return to experiments in May and laboratory premises began to be used for research projects again.

“Testing for Covid-19 has brought new experience as well as opportunities for scientific activity, closer cooperation with hospitals and, I believe, it has borne fruit in the form of quality improvement of instruction of fields of Biomedical laboratory technology and Clinical biology”, says the leader of the Department of Medical Biology Jindřich Chmelař. SARS-CoV-2 research was supported by two TACR Gama projects and a project of the National centre of competence for materials, advanced technologies, coating and their application (NCK MATCA). Further projects were submitted. New cooperation was established not only with the České Budějovice hospital but also with the Institute of Physics of the Czech Academy of Sciences, companies Genlabs, Aiomica and other partners. Concurrently, the testing facilitated an impulse for a reorganisation of laboratories and there will be a new laboratory with a stricter security regime created within the BSL2 premises of the DMB, where research work with SARS-Cov-2 will take place as well as its diagnostics. “The newly arranged laboratory will be prepared for immediate use if it becomes necessary to engage in testing again. In addition, the premises for work with originators of human infectious diseases, which will also serve as the necessary base for the practical training of students for work in diagnostic laboratories, will be extended”, explains Jan Štěrba from the DC, who took part in the organisation of testing from the beginning.

We would like to, hereby, express our great gratitude to those who involved themselves in testing immediately from the beginning as well as to reinforcements thanks to whom it was possible to secure the preservation of testing capacities over a long period as well as the speed of testing.

COVIDtest team PřF JU: Adam Bajgar, Zuzana Beránková, Eva Bínová, Martina Dalíková, Eva Ďurinová, Zdeněk Franta, Petra Havlíčková, Libor Hejduk, Adéla Chlastáková, Jindřich Chmelař, Marie Jalovecká, Barbora Kaščáková, Pavlína Kočová, Jan Kotál, Helena Langhansová, Ľubica Makušová, Hana Mašková, Eva Myšková, Hana Pejšová, Dagmar Riegert Bystřická, Martin Selinger, Zuzana Světelová, Ján Štěrba, Hana Tykalová, Pavlína Věchtová, Eva Výletová