CZU mobiLAB offers a complex solution for detection of infectious diseases (including COVID-19) in inaccessible areas of developing countries

The Czech University of Life Sciences in Prague introduces a concept of mobile laboratories, CZU mobiLAB. CZU mobiLAB is ready for use in humans and veterinary medicine for the identification of any infectious agents based on nucleic acid detection in sampled individuals. The concept of CZU mobiLAB can be used in inaccessible areas of the developing world and at the same time offers solutions for developed countries in case of reaction to an unexpected threat.

Experts from the Faculty of Tropical AgriSciences (FTA) are dealing with the issues of infections and their detection, especially the virus SARS-CoV-2, and now have brought forward the concept of CZU mobiLAB.

CZU mobiLAB represents a complex solution, which enables the application of modern molecular detection methods in remote or damaged areas. A major advantage of the proposed solution is the concept of a mobile laboratory, which is unique in its size and weight. It is a mobile laboratory which can be transported by SUV/off-road type vehicles or even manually, which is essential for inaccessible areas,” says one of the authors of the concept Dr. Hynek Roubík from FTA.

The first 4 units of CZU mobiLAB are currently being prepared under a grant from the Czech Development Agency as part of Czech development cooperation in Ethiopia and Zambia, in cooperation with humanitarian organization ADRA.

The Czech Development Agency quickly joined the activities of other donors and made means available from their budget to react to the situation which has arisen due to the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic in the developing world. As an agency with an aim to spread the good name of the Czech Republic in the world apart from helping those in need, we are glad to be partners in this innovative concept and help spread this unique Czech know-how in our priority countries,” adds Barbora Žáčková, project manager for Zambia.

„The use of mobile laboratories in otherwise inaccessible regions of Ethiopia and Zambia will help slow down the spread of COVID-19 and other infectious diseases thanks to the early discovery of infected patients” notes Marcela Zárubová, project coordinator from ADRA.

“The essential facilities are provided in an inflatable tent. The laboratory itself is equipped with a generator which provides electricity and with necessary machines, which enable pathogen detection by methods of molecular biology (PCR, LAMP, etc.),” adds another author of the concept, virologist Dr. Jiří Černý from FTA.

CZU mobiLAB is equipped with these key components (1) Box-portable mobile laboratory for infectious diseases detection (2) Tent – Shelters of HF production series SMART (3) Decontamination shower. “After arrival, the laboratory can be assembled and immediately start fully functioning. Unlike other laboratories, it can be delivered to regions with extreme access,” adds Dr. Hynek Roubík.

The laboratory is fully equipped and can function off-grid (i.e. from its own resources, without being connected to any kind of external infrastructure). “Another key advantage is the multifunctional design of the laboratory, which allows it to detect several infectious disease agents precisely and rapidly, which is a basic prerequisite for their containment,” concludes Dr. Jiří Černý.

CZU mobiLAB will be prepared as a reaction to other possible threats in the world as well as in our country. In case of need, it will be possible to transport it anywhere in the world. In other versions of CZU mobiLAB, the range of tests will be broadened to include serological tests and cultivation methods, which will enable to detect of a wider spectrum of pathogens, as well as other biological tests of non-infectious diseases (such as complete blood count, etc.).

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