Virology Laboratory at SPH first in Canada to have new high throughput COVID-19 testing capability

Today, the Virology Laboratory at St. Paul’s Hospital started using a new high throughput, fully automated COVID-19 testing method called “Roche 6800”, the first in Canada. The two Roche 6800 machines are not new to our laboratory -- they are used for HIV, Hepatitis B and CMV viral load testing -- but they have now been validated and capacity has been created for COVID-19 testing. Dr. Marc Romney (Medical Microbiologist), the medical lead for Microbiology and Virology, says his team at SPH has been working around the clock with Roche Canada on getting this new automated testing system up and running as quickly as possible.Kits for use on the Roche 6800 instruments are in very short supply. If both Roche 6800 machines were able to run at full capacity, theoretically over 2000 COVID-19 samples could be performed over a 24-hour period. This additional testing capability is on top of the mid-volume testing system currently in place at the SPH lab.

This page last updated Mar 22, 2020 4:09pm PDT