Covid-19 Rapid Response 2020EI-COV20-031

Entwicklung sensitiver und skalierbarer Screening-Assays zur Überwachung von COVID-19-Infektionen im Populationsmaßstab


Principal Investigator:
Project title:
Entwicklung sensitiver und skalierbarer Screening-Assays zur Überwachung von COVID-19-Infektionen im Populationsmaßstab
Status:
Completed (01.04.2020 – 31.03.2021)
Funding volume:
€ 50,000

 
Abstract:

There is broad consensus that virus containment can only be achieved through a massive scale-up in virus screening and testing, which turns out to be a major bottleneck in most countries, including Austria.

Besides already emerging serological tests, which can detect IgG/IgM antibodies days after the primary infection, scalable assays enabling the early detection of viral RNA will be a critical for the success of population-scale screening programs. In close alliance with the Vienna COVID-19 Diagnostics Initiative (VCDI), we propose to develop, optimize and validate innovative RNA detection assays that will allow to further boost the achievable throughput in virus surveillance programs.

In parallel, we are testing and optimizing other methods for the detection of SARS-CoV-2 RNA in sputum and swab samples. Together, these approaches hold promise for boosting the daily capacity for virus testing from current numbers in the thousands to population scale, which will be needed to control COVID-19 until a vaccine and effective therapies become available. The aim of this project is to establish these technologies as rapidly as possible to be able to use it for fighting the current COVID-19 pandemic.

 

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