In a significant breakthrough for the country, Hungary has developed its own coronavirus test which is both faster and more accurate than the ones its laboratories have been using so far, Minister of Human Capacities Miklós Kásler announced on Thursday.
Kásler, who is also in charge of healthcare in the country, said the new test was jointly developed by the National Public Health Center (NNK), the Korányi Pulmonology Clinic, Debrecen University in southern Hungary, and the Budapest-based private medical and diagnostic center CMC Déli Klinika.
He added that the methodology used in creating the test could also lead to the development of a domestic-made vaccine.
Currently, there are eight major coronavirus test manufactures in Europe: Altona, Servoprax and TIB MOLBIOL in Germany; CerTest and Genomica in Spain; Biomaxima and SensDx in Poland, and Clonit in Italy.
The minister said that while the development was funded by the four institutions involved in the research, the government will continue its support of this type of research.
The NNK and Debrecen University have established a joint venture for the production of the test kits. These require a blood sample and results are available within a few hours, said Krisztina Bogos, medical director of the Korányi Clinic, who added that the test not only detects the presence of antibodies in samples, but also gives a quantitative measurement important for giving a gauge of individual and general immune responses.
National Public Health Officer Cecília Müller said that the new test will be manufactured from ingredients available in the country and production — initially sufficient for domestic needs — will begin in a few weeks.
Title image: Laboratory test (illustration)