UVAS BSL-3 Lab tests more than 100,000 COVID-19 suspected human samples
LAHORE (31-12-20): The Biosafety Level-3 Laboratory for Emerging Pathogens, Institute of Microbiology, University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences (UVAS) Lahore, has tested more than 100,000 COVID-19 suspected human samples by PCR.
Currently, a UVAS team is also tracking the second wave of COVID-19 through sewage water in Lahore. Earlier, the UVAS in collaboration with the Health Department Punjab and WASA Lahore optimized SARS-CoV-2 detection and quantification protocols from sewage water of different localities from Lahore to develop “Smart surveillance strategy for Smart Lock Down”. Quantification of SARS-CoV-2 genome from sewage water of an area and its association with actual COVID-19 burden helps in better execution and implementation of smart lockdown strategy.
In addition to COVID-19 testing, the Institute of Microbiology is also helping relevant industries, providing technical assistance to textile industry on microbiological testing of personnel protective equipment. The university in collaboration with pharmaceutical industry also determined anti-SARS-CoV-2 activity of a research drug in Vitro and in non-human primates. The drug is in clinical trials now which may result in developing an effective treatment option for COVID-19.
Institute of Microbiology Director Prof Dr Tahir Yaqub, other faculty members, staff and postgraduate students are running PCR-based COVID-19 diagnostics as volunteers since the emergence of COVID-19 in Pakistan.
The Institute of Microbiology of UVAS is equipped with the state-of-the-art laboratories, capable of running diagnostics for human and veterinary infectious diseases, developing vaccines for emerging and zoonotic pathogens. Once the COVID-19 was declared a pandemic on March 11, 2020, Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr. Nasim Ahmad adopted a pro-active approach and fast-tracked the development of BSL-3 laboratory for diagnosis of COVID-19.
The “Biosafety Level-3 Laboratory for Emerging Pathogens” was inaugurated by Governor Ch. Muhammad Sarwar in April 2020 while the Punjab Healthcare Commission evaluated and approved the lab for PCR based COVID-19 diagnostics.