Examples of One Health co-operation in COVID-19 diagnostics: DTU and SSI

Technical University of Denmark (DTU) Logo + Statens Serum Institut (SSI) Logo

Examples of One Health co-operation in COVID-19 diagnostics: Technical University of Denmark (DTU) and Statens Serum Institut (SSI) are developing three new devices for the rapid diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2

Our world faces the COVID-19 global pandemic, and many One Health EJP consortium partners have key roles in managing the situation at national level across Europe.

For example, FAO has recognised that enormous processivity is needed for the diagnostic capacity required, and OIE has provided guidance for how veterinary laboratories can provide support. Veterinary laboratories have an extraordinary experience in the diagnosis of infectious diseases also in emergency situations and can therefore be tremendously supportive in this. In this series of ‘Examples of One Health co-operation in COVID-19 diagnostics’, we highlight how One Health co-operation has been established across Europe.

DTU and SSI are developing three new rapid instruments for on-site diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2. Two of these are scheduled to be ready for emergency use in Denmark by October. They will make the response of the health care system even more effective and ensure fewer people in quarantine.

Despite the DTU being recently shutdown, Professor Anders Wolff from DTU continues to work and leads the project “CoronaDX”, in which researchers are developing three new measuring instruments capable of performing fast on-site diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2. Professor Dang Duong Bang from DTU National Food Institute, who is part of the project, also keeps his laboratory open for business, and so does project partner, Professor Anders Fomsgaard who is the OHEJP MAD-ViR Project Leader and Chief of Virus Research & Development at SSI. Two out of the three instruments are scheduled to be ready for emergency use by October, when the next wave of COVID-19 is expected to hit Denmark. The third instrument is scheduled to be ready in March 2021.

With the new instruments, quarantine-affected people will be able to get an immediate diagnosis. If they are not infected, they can resume their normal lives and work right away, thus keeping the country running as normally as possible during the epidemic.

Under normal conditions, such a development would take several years, and Professor Anders Wolff from DTU Bioengineering, who heads the project, says that this project is developing unusually fast:

“It’s quite clear that the research community is acutely aware that this is a very special and serious situation, and we work together as colleagues across countries and organizations rather than as competitors. That is why there are so many publicly available RNA sequences for COVID-19, and that is one of the reasons we are able to work as fast as we currently do.”

The three new instruments measure in three different ways to recognise the virus, and the technology itself is the newest in the field. The researchers have very recently developed it in another EU funded project aimed at detecting diseases in poultry.

Click here for the full article and to find out more about these three new devices.



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