News > Zahedan University of Medical Sciences launches Real-Time RT-PCR Laboratory Testing for Identification of Corona Virus (COVID-19) in Suspected Human Cases
Zahedan University of Medical Sciences launches Real-Time RT-PCR Laboratory Testing for Identification of Corona Virus (COVID-19) in Suspected Human Cases
Report from: Zahedan University of Medical Sciences, Vice Chancellery for Health
Published on:18 March 2020
In response to the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) outbreak, Zahedan University of Medical Sciences immediately activated the highest level of emergency response mechanisms with an the all-of-government and all-of society approach that is essential for early containment of a COVID-19 outbreak.
Zahedan University of Medical Sciences immediately expanded surveillance to detect COVID-19 transmission chains, by testing all patients with atypical pneumonias, conducting screening in some patients with upper respiratory illnesses and/or recent COVID-19 exposure.
A real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) assay has been developed to rapidly detect the severe acute respiratory syndrome-associated coronavirus (COVID-19). The real-time RT-PCR assay has been found to be more sensitive than a conventional RT-PCR assay or culture isolation and proved suitable to detect COVID-19 in clinical specimens. Application of this assay will aid in diagnosing COVID-19 infection.
Iranian Ministry of Health provided the test kits for referral public health laboratories to perform real-time RT-polymerase chain reaction (rRT-PCR) detection of the corona virus (COVID-19) in respiratory specimens. Zahedan University of Medical Sciences received authorization from the Iranian Ministry of Health on February, 2020 for use of this rRT-PCR test to detect the virus in upper and lower respiratory specimens.
Testing for the COVID-19 virus was added to the existing surveillance systems (i.e. systems for influenza-like-illness and severe acute respiratory infection (SARI)). The Zahedan University of Medical Sciences Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Laboratory was set up following training provided by the Pasteur Institute of Iran, due to the availability of efficient specialist personnel and equipment, in less than a week after the detection of the first few COVID-19 cases in Islamic Republic of Iran.
The Coronavirus Disease Laboratory is run by Dr. Khalili, a clinical biochemistry specialist who has overseen the Influenza and AIDS Regional Laboratories since 2010, along with four experienced molecular laboratory experts. In addition to molecular bioassay facilities, the laboratory has been equipped with several Real-Time PCR and PCR conventional Thermocyclers, an automated DNA and RNA Extraction System, ELISA, GeneXpert and CD4 counters machines.
As of 18 March 2020, a total of 482 specimens for COVID-19 have been investigated with 79 (16.3%) positive test results (Figure 1).
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|Date : 18/03/2020 13:49
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