Rapid testing of SARS-Cov-2 in national coordination with health care
Commissioned by the Public Health Agency of Sweden, this effort focused on scaling up testing of COVID-19 on a national level. The laboratory could analyze 5 000 COVID-19 samples a day and all Swedish regions could utilize the laboratory and send samples for analysis.
The National Pandemic Center has been terminated as per January 1, 2021, as Karolinska Institutet returns to regular laboratory activities.
Svensk sammanfattning längre ner.
This effort was a collaboration between SciLifeLab, Karolinska Institutet, the Public Health Agency of Sweden and the country’s clinical microbiology laboratories. It was enabled through a major grant from Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation to Lars Engstrand (Karolinska Institutet/SciLifeLab).
The effort has now ceased, as Karolinska Institutet returns to regular laboratory activites as per January 1, 2021. The testing capacity at its peak was able to analyze 5 000 COVID-19 samples a day. All Swedish regions were offered to use the unit and send samples for analysis. Samples primarily came from personnel in healthcare and elderly care (priority group 2), but the laboratory also analyzed samples from personnel in vital society functions (priority group 3), based on recommendations from the Public Health Agency of Sweden.
Coordinator: Lars Engstrand (SciLifeLab/Karolinska Institutet)
- Covid-19 tests: KI returns to regular laboratory activities but remains prepared
- Collaboration increases opportunities for COVID-19 testing (Karolinska Institutet)
- Utökad testning av covid-19 i samarbete mellan landets universitetssjukhus, SciLifeLab och Karolinska Institutet (Genomic Medicine Sweden)
Setting up the laboratory
The laboratory was located at the Centre for Translational Microbiome Research (CTMR), directed by Lars Engstrand and located at Karolinska Institutet and SciLifeLab.
While the laboratory was set up in a time of global shortage of test materials, ordering the necessary supplies was made possible through a collaboration with the Shenzhen-based research institute BGI/MGI. In early April, a substantial order containing both analysis reagents for detecting the virus’ RNA and five laboratory robots, was delivered.
The analysis methods were then evaluated through approximately 2 000 clinical tests (carried out in collaboration with Karolinska University Hospital) before launching the effort.
Coordination of testing
This effort aimed at performing large-scale national testing, in order for personnel in healthcare and other vital functions to be tested for COVID-19 and work safely. Logistics were organized so as to not burden the healthcare system and thus, healthcare testing recources could be focused on patients (priority group 1). The Public Health was commissioned to coordinate all testing for the virus.
A group of representatives from SciLifeLab, GMS, the Public Health Agency and all clinical microbiology laboratories at the university hospitals in Sweden was appointed to coordinate COVID-19 testing at the CTMR laboratory. The group was led by Lars Engstrand (SciLifeLab/Karolinska Institutet) and Per Sikora (SciLifeLab/Genomic Medicine Sweden) and coordinated through Genomic Medicine Sweden’s Committee for Microbiology.
SciLifeLab’s Diagnostic Development platform was also engaged in the effort.
Den här satsningen fokuserade på att skala upp testningen för covid-19 i Sverige, och gjordes på uppdrag av Folkhälsomyndigheten. Det va ett samarbete mellan SciLifeLab, Karolinska Institutet, Folkhälsomyndigheten och och landets kliniska mikrobiologilaboratorier. Satsningen möjliggjordes av en omfattande donation från Knut och Alice Wallenbergs Stiftelse till Lars Engstrand (Karolinska Institutet/SciLifeLab).
Analysverksamheten inom Nationellt Pandemisk Centrum upphörde 1 Januari 2021, och Karolinska Institutet återgår till normal laboratorieverksamhet.
Laboratoriet kunde analysera 5 000 prover om dagen för covid-19, och alla svenska regioner välkomnades att skicka in prover för analys. De flesta proverna kom från personal inom sjuk- och äldrevård, men laboratoriet analyserade även prover från personal inom annan samhällskritisk verksamhet, baserat på rekommendationer från Folkhälsomyndigheten.
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