Mawi DNA Technologies Supports UC San Diego for Back-To- School COVID Testing
Mawi is doing its part to help fight the global spread of COVID-19
HAYWARD, CA – October 25, 2021 – As the new school year begins, the University of California San Diego (UC San Diego) welcomes their students back to campus with a request to have their SARS-CoV-2 vaccination or to submit to bi-weekly COVID testing, in hopes of reducing the spread of the virus on campus. Mawi DNA Technologies supports UC San Diego in providing self-administered testing supplies for all their students and academic faculty. The university is specifically using Mawi DNA Technologies’ iSWAB Microbiome technology created to allow safer handling of samples through viral inactivation and expand testing windows through extended room temperature stability of viral RNA samples.
UC San Diego is at the forefront of investigating COVID-19 spread and symptoms. Within the last fiscal year, the campus has tested nearly half a million students and staff with an average test result time of 13 hours. Students and staff can now self-administer their COVID-19 tests with kits offered through vending machines scattered throughout the campus. The collection kits utilize iSWAB-Microbiome technology as the transport media and a swab to collect the subject’s nasal sample. The collected sample remains stable at room temperature for long periods of time and effectively inactivates the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which makes it a safe option for all populations. Once the sample is collected, it is submitted within 72 hours into a dropbox next to the vending machine. There are currently 20 vending machines offering COVID Kits on the UC San Diego Campus.
iSWAB Microbiome technology allows scientists at UC San Diego’s Expedited COVID IdenTification Environment (EXCITE) lab to quickly turn around samples and monitor SARS-CoV-2 variants and mutations by sequencing positive samples. The EXCITE lab is also testing a new product called iSWAB-Microbiome-EL (Extraction-Less) that will allow them to skip the RNA extraction process entirely. The new extraction-less protocol enabled by iSWAB Microbiome-EL should reduce overall costs and cut processing time by nearly 50%, allowing the EXCITE lab to increase their daily testing output.