Saudi Hospital Develops Diagnostic Test for COVID-19
A Saudi research team at the Research Center of King Faisal Specialist Hospital (KFSH) developed a diagnostic test for the novel coronavirus COVID-19 that has been approved by the Saudi Food and Drug Authority.
The test uses polymerase chain reaction (PCR), which produces multiple copies of a single strand of DNA and has become the most common basis for coronavirus tests.
Dr. Ali S. Alzahrani, the Executive Director of the Research Center at King Faisal Specialist Hospital in Riyadh, says the development of the test complied with precise laboratory-science standards and that all of the validation stages were surpassed after its results matched those of the hospital's primary diagnostic laboratory.
He added that the hospital is equipped with a Primer device, the foundation of the PCR tests that detect the virus. The research team was led by Dr. Ahmed Al-Qahtani and Dr. Fatimah S. Alhamlan, both of whom are microbiology researchers.
Dr. Majed Al-Fayyad, the Chief Executive Officer of King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center (Gen. Org.), paid tribute to the research team that designed and developed the test, which allows the hospital to rely on a local product when conducting required tests of laboratory samples.
This achievement forms a bulwark against problems that the hospital may face in the event of a national or global shortage of commercially manufactured products, a serious concern given the high demand for these products in light of the epidemic's persistence.
He also added that the King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center is ready to produce primers for local laboratories and to share the protocol with local and Gulf laboratories in order to confront a shortage of commercial solutions.