CZ-OPENSCREEN performs Corona sample tests

CZ-OPENSCREEN (National Infrastructure for Chemical Biology) – Czech node to EU-OPENSCREEN ERIC (European Infrastructure of Open Screening Platforms for Chemical Biology) – hosted by the Institute of Molecular Genetics of the Czech Academy of Sciences, plans to test up to 1,000 samples per day. This goal will be achieved mainly thanks to the specialized instruments used routinely in the high throughput screening of small molecules including washers, robotic liquid handlers and different types of bulk liquid dispensers. Some of these instruments are integrated in the HTS robotic stations.

CZ-OPENSCREEN focuses on the identification of new molecular probes and tools for research and validation of compounds suitable for the development of new drugs. Employment of the research infrastructure equipment in the Corona samples testing thus fulfils CZ-OPENSCREEN mission – open access to general scientific community. Tested samples will be coming from regional hospitals, nursing and retirement homes.

The team led by Dr Petr Bartůněk optimized RNA isolation using an in-house developed methods for large-scale testing. This in-house method is based on magnetic beads used to isolate RNA. CZ-OPENSCREEN is sharing the know-how of high-throughput workflow for RNA isolation and preparation of RT-qPCR reactions with other academic institutions involved in Covid-19 testing. And the approach to share this methodology will be kept also for the future in case of any other emergency pandemic, which will require immediate reaction.

CZ-OPENSCREEN team also developed the internal database CORONAbase. The CORONAbase enables one to register samples and to transform all the appropriate personal data to an electronic version. Each of the samples will be associated with a unique barcode and the database will enable one to track the samples on multiwell plates during the process of RNA isolation and qPCR screening. The qPCR data will be automatically uploaded into the database and analyzed. The CORONAbase will be offered also to other laboratories, which are involved in Covid-19 testing, where it can be used for data management and to improve their testing services and standards. This database can be used in general for any sample management during any future pathogenic outbreak when the non-diagnostic laboratories are again involved.

CZ-OPENSCREEN team expects that the involvement in coronavirus testing will increase the number of people tested and society and governmental bodies will get a better idea about the nationwide spread of the virus.

CZ-OPENSCREEN – National Infrastructure for Chemical Biology