Examples of One Health co-operation in COVID-19 diagnostics: The Swedish National Veterinary Institute (SVA) analyses health care samples for 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.
The Swedish National Veterinary Institute (SVA) has, in collaboration with two of Sweden’s county councils, started to analyse samples from the health care system for SARS-CoV-2.
“We aim to support Swedish health care as much as we can”, says Ann Lindberg, the Director General of SVA.
SVA is the largest veterinary laboratory in Sweden. The institute analyses over 400.000 diagnostic samples yearly, including several types of coronaviruses associated with animal disease. The work at the department of microbiology includes routine diagnostics in animal health care and surveillance, allowing large numbers of samples to be processed and analysed.
“The capacity at SVA regarding personnel, equipment and facilities is high and so is our competence, also from an international perspective” says Henrik Ericsson, Head of Department of Microbiology at SVA. By providing this service for Swedish healthcare, we will substantially contribute to an improved capacity of testing for SARS-CoV-2.
A collaboration agreement has now been established between SVA and two of the county councils. Samples are transported to SVA and analysed for SARS-CoV-2.
SVA provides expertise in zoonoses and has a well-established and close collaboration with the Public Health Agency of Sweden.
“As an authority with a civil contingency function, SVA is part of the national preparedness for disruptions in the society. Naturally, we offer our knowledge and resources in the current situation” says Ann Lindberg, Director General.
The COVID-19 pandemic is not primarily an animal health issue, but the continuous preparedness at SVA regarding severe transmissible diseases in animals allows for a rapid increase of capacity in response to crises.
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