Regional cooperation in the coronavirus crisis

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TUM Campus Straubing, laboratory and research building, Schulstr. 16    Image: A

TUM Campus Straubing, laboratory and research building, Schulstr. 16 Image: Andreas Heddergott

Coronavirus: University operations under restrictions until at least 17 April 2020 at midnight +++

TUM Campus Straubing supports hospital with laboratory tests

When it comes to corona testing capacity, as of now the Straubing Hospital is able to rely on support from the TUM campus. Campus laboratories began on Tuesday to analyze coronavirus samples. Staff are to start by testing 80 samples per day. The number of assessments is set for a big increase soon through the optimization of processes.

The laboratories at the Straubing campus of the Technical University of Munich (TUM) are cooperating with St. Elisabeth Hospital Straubing, which is taking swabs from patients and staff and sending the inactivated samples that are no longer infectious to the campus. Due to a lack of respective laboratory capacity in Straubing, to date the samples were being sent to Regensburg and Passau. With on-site analysis - campus and hospital are only around 300 meters apart - the time-consuming logistics for transporting the samples can be omitted, and results are available after only a few hours.

It took a good two weeks to set up the analysis process. "The key problem has been obtaining all the necessary reagents, as global demand has increased very strongly," explains the head of the analysis team, Dr. Josef Sperl, who works at the Chair of Chemistry of Biogenic Resources under the supervision of Head of the Chair and Rector Prof. Volker Sieber. "Our laboratory is in contact with virologists and analysis experts all over the world, as the challenges are the same all over the world and joint discussions help everyone," explains Dr. Sperl.

"We are in contact with all the relevant local partners," explains Prof. Sieber. "In this way, the initiative got off the ground in a direct discussion between the directors of the hospital and the TUM campus. The hospital, where Prof. Rudolf Gruber and his staff ensure safe collection and inactivation of the samples, plays an important role in regional care." The campus is also in close contact with the responsible persons from the Department of Health and Disaster Control, as well as the Mayor, Markus Pannermayr.

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