Quirónsalud Hospitals in Torrevieja, Alicante and Murcia have introduced a new technique in their labs to carry out up to 1000 PCR tests daily and get results in less than 24 hours, thus becoming the best facilities for this kind of test in Alicante province and Murcia region. These hospitals have also set up a separate service to carry out these tests to ensure a fast and safe service.
This new technology features automated laboratory equipment that uses a magnetic system to extract and purify nucleic acids (DNA and RNA). To do so, nasopharyngeal exudate samples obtained from patients are incubated with magnetic spheres that have the ability to capture the DNA or RNA released by bacteria, viruses or cells.
These spheres containing the nucleic acids are then attached to magnetic probes in the equipment to capture the released DNA or RNA. Finally, the nucleic acids are separated from the magnetic spheres using an elution process with water, obtaining the fully purified DNA or RNA product.
As Dr. Juan José Mata, an immunology laboratory specialist at Quirónsalud Torrevieja and Alicante Hospital, explains, “this new equipment allows us greater speed and efficiency during the RNA extraction and purification procedure in samples from patients with suspected Covid-19 infection.
Therefore, these advantages result in a shorter response time in obtaining PCR results. As it is an automated process, manual errors during the technique and potential cross-contamination between samples are also minimised.”
This entire procedure is carried out in a Clean Room designed as per international GMP (Good Manufacturing Practices) quality standards where the samples for conducting PCR tests are analysed and for the development of advanced therapy medicinal products, such as vaccines with dendritic cells.
This lab has been conducting these kinds of tests for over 10 years with in-house immunologists and genetics specialists, and is one of the most renowned laboratories in the Valencian Community.