Study at USB
On March 24, 2020, the laboratories of the Department of Medical Biology at the Faculty of Science of the USB have been granted permission from the National Institute of Public Health to test samples of patients for the presence of the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes the disease known as COVID-19.
The Faculty obtained the permission in a record time, one day, and a Faculty team may begin testing already on March 27. „The Department of Medical Biology has two BSL2 laboratories equipped by 4 biohazard boxes at its disposal for these purposes,“ specified RNDr. Jindřich Chmelař, Ph.D., the Head of the Department of Medical Biology of the Faculty of Science at the University of South Bohemia in České Budějovice. In conjunction with laboratories at the Institute of Parasitology of the Biology Centre of the Czech Academy of Sciences, the laboratories on the USB campus are the only ones with the permission to conduct testing.
According to first estimates, the laboratories of the Faculty of Science should be able to test approx. 50 samples per day. The material that is available to them should suffice for about 1000 tests. „In order to begin testing in the shortest possible time, the Faculty made its own funds available, among other things, and gathered all needed material from all Departments for the testing laboratories,“ said prof. Ing. Hana Šantrůčková, CSc, the Dean of the Faculty of Science of the University of South Bohemia, in description of the process of preparation for testing. The Faculty will acquire samples from medical facilities together with the Biology Centre of the Czech Academy of Sciences in one place, which is an additional advantage leading to a more effective testing process.
There are 14 people on the team that will be processing individual samples at the moment. Among them, there are members of the Department of Medical Biology and the Institute of Chemistry as well as postgraduate students from the fields of infection biology and molecular and cellular biology. Most of them are experienced in handling infectious material and have their own accreditation for working in health care. The head of the molecular-diagnostic laboratory GenLabs, which ensures correct handling of patient samples and their records, it also part of the team.