AquaChile's Alab laboratory will be used for coronavirus testing from Monday. Photo: AquaChile.

Salmon farmer switches fish lab to coronavirus testing

Salmon producer AquaChile has made its state-of-the-art Alab molecular testing laboratory available for coronavirus testing.

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“The adaptations are already being made and the protocols are being processed so that from next Monday, March 30, our AquaChile Alab Laboratory can perform and process coronavirus tests,” said Alab manager Alexis Martínez.

The laboratory is being made available to health and military authorities in the Los Lagos region.

Key facility

It will become a key facility to control, through early detection, the spread of the coronavirus in Puerto Montt, the island of Chiloé and all the localities of southern Chile, said AquaChile, which the country’s largest salmonid farmer.

The company is also contributing R&D resources to help research, prevent and control Covid-19, the respiratory disease caused by the coronavirus.

Norway labs on standby

Meanwhile, in Norway fish health analysts PatoGen and Pharmaq Analytiq have both offered use of their laboratories for coronavirus detection, but authorities have not yet had to take up the offer.

And in Poland Proteon Pharmaceuticals, which has developed bactriophages for the aquaculture sector, has helped set up a new coronavirus detection centre in Lodz.

The centre is staffed by a team of microbiologists, geneticists, doctors and experts, including scientists from Proteon Pharmaceuticals. The goal is to conduct as many tests as possible in the shortest time.