SciLifeLab prepares for large-scale Covid-19 screening

28 April 2020

System developers at SciLifeLab in Uppsala have adapted the IT systems required for large-scale Covid-19 screening.

Large-scale Covid-19 screening is essential for securing societally important functions, for example to determine whether infected employees must be isolated or can continue working. The task at hand, as well as the number of tests to be performed is extensive. On behalf of the Public Health Agency of Sweden (Folkhälsomyndigheten), several groups are now working in parallel to create the necessary workflows that will enable large-scale Covid-19 testing in Sweden.

Johan Dahlberg, SciLifeLab, photo: Per Lundmark

"Our task has been to adapt the laboratory IT systems for testing and analysis of the large number samples that will be processed. Our system developers have worked intensively, and we are pleased to be able to contribute to this very important work", says Johan Dahlberg, Technical Lead at SciLifeLab's National Infrastructure for Genomics (NGI), Uppsala University.

The goal is to perform 5000 Covid-19 tests per day when the operation is fully up and running.  The IT system plays a key role for quality assurance and standardization of the laboratory workflows, which also includes automated interpretation of the results, and further reporting the results back to the healthcare system.

"We have worked closely with the Center for Translational Microbiome Research (CTMR) at Karolinska Institutet/SciLifeLab, who is running the initiative, and our collaboration over the past weeks has been extremely successful", says Johan Dahlberg.

NGI will also contribute to several other research initiatives that are currently being planned to combat the Covid-19 pandemic.

"I am pleased that the competences we have built up over the years within NGI can be put to good use. It illustrates the strength of the infrastructure we have created and I am confident that we will also make important contributions to up-coming Covid-19 research projects", says Jessica Nordlund, Facility Director at NGI.