LUXEMBOURG — Eurofins Technologies announced April 17 it has developed a range of testing kits to detect if manufacturing employees are positive for, have been exposed to or are fighting a COVID-19 infection. The tests are intended to help essential businesses determine how their workforces are being impacted by the virus.
Serology-based antibody detection kits are intended for employees who may have been exposed to the virus or are expressing symptoms but have not tested positive for the virus.
According to Eurofins and other testing experts, serology tests — a method using blood samples to gauge an immune system’s response to pathogens — can supplement a PCR swab test to help diagnose and gauge the progression of a SARS-CoV-2 infection, the virus that causes COVID-19. These assays were developed by Eurofins with help from Gold Standards Diagnostics Inc., VIROTECH Diagnostics GmbH, NovaTec Immundiagnostica GmbH, and Ingenasa.
The serology-based antibody tests could be helpful in the development of vaccines or therapies, as well as tracking natural recovery, immunity or potential reinfection of COVID-19 patients, as well as for determining the percentage of infected people in a certain population as the pandemic develops.
“This launch is the result of the strong devotion of our scientists to our fight against COVID-19,” said Gilles Martin, Ph.D., chief executive officer at Eurofins. “They worked round the clock over the last six weeks to develop and optimize tests with very high specificity. This is important in order to minimize risks of false positive detections.
"We are very pleased to provide this additional testing option in a time when many governments around the world are considering suitable stepwise paths out of their lockdowns," Martin said. "Better understanding the epidemiology and spread of the virus is an important element in the fight against this pandemic.”
Martin added Eurofins will begin to ship “significant quantities” of these tests around the world, as well as providing them at its own clinical laboratories.
“Our four factories and partners are ramping up to produce kits to carry out over 10 million tests per month,” he said.
Eurofins will host a webinar detailing these tests on Thursday, April 23 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. central standard time. Douglas Marshall, Ph.D., chief scientific officer at Eurofins Microbiology Laboratories, and Jeremy Adler, Ph.D., senior area technical support coordinator at Ecolab, will provide recommendations on developing environmental monitoring programs (EMPs) for the virus and workplace solutions in the event of a contamination.
Essential manufacturing businesses are encouraged to register for the webinar to learn how to effectively manage current health and safety concerns while protecting their bottom line and employees.
Follow our breaking news coverage of the coronavirus/COVID-19 situation.