Cytiva employees will be tested for COVID-19 infection using analysis methods developed by SciLifeLab and KTH.
As well as evaluating the new method the testing will also help paint a more complete picture of the COVID-19 spread so far. Cytiva (formerly GE Healthcare Life Sciences) contributes with knowledge and resources for the development of logistics and sample handling.
“We have the capacity to handle both the sampling for viruses and antibodies at Cytiva, do sample preparation in the Testa Center and handle the logistics between ourselves and the analytical lab in Stockholm,” says Lotta Ljungqvist, CEO of Testa Center, Cytiva, in a press release.
1500 employees from the Uppsala site
Running from May 11 to June 18, 1500 employees from the Uppsala site will undergo a two-stage sampling using analysis methods developed by SciLifeLab. The collaboration will help paint a more complete picture of the COVID-19 spread in different parts of Swedish society.
The employees at Cytiva may participate voluntarily and are allocated time intervals to ensure social distance at the Uppsala site. Subjects who receive negative results in the first virus test will then submit blood samples for antibody analysis within 24 hours.
Less prevalent in Uppsala compared to Stockholm
The first 700 virus assays showed that less than 1 percent of the employees had an ongoing COVID-19 infection while the first 500 antibody assays revealed that around 5 percent had developed antibodies from a previous infection. This shows that the infection is less prevalent in Uppsala compared to Stockholm.
The collaboration between Cytiva, SciLifeLab, KI, and KTH, will provide the researchers with a better knowledge base before the start of the large-scale testing that is expected to begin shortly.
“Our employees are both happy and grateful that we can contribute to this important scientific investigation. Our company is already working to improve access to important tools for the healthcare and pharmaceutical industries and our contribution will be even more evident with the participation in this project,” says Ljungqvist.
Source: SciLifeLab. Photo of Lotta Ljungberg, CEO of Testa Center, Cytiva.