To share our experience and current setup, we have compiled a complete standard operating procedure (SOP) describing all components of our pipeline:
- Self-sampling using a simple gargle protocol that we have developed and validated as an alternative to conventional swab tests
- Scalable workflows for primary processing of gargle samples and automated RNA isolation
- Optimized RT-qPCR protocols for sensitive SARS-CoV-2 detection using on multiple primer/probe-sets and improved sample quality controls
- A database solution that supports sample administration throughout the process and result retrieval through a web interface
Since its establishment, the VCDI testing pipeline has been successfully applied for various SARS-CoV-2 monitoring projects, e.g. for the routine testing of staff members at several partner institutes and a pilot screening project at 11 schools in Vienna. In parallel, we are constantly optimizing protocol steps (e.g. to further increase the throughput of our pipeline). Updates will be shared on this website.