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Rapid, low-cost diagnostics and deployable surge capacity for COVID-19

Coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that cause illnesses ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV). Coronaviruses are zoonotic, meaning they are transmitted between animals and people. Common signs of infection include respiratory symptoms, fever, cough, and breathing difficulties. In more severe cases, infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure, and even death.

The novel coronavirus COVID-19 is a strain that has not been previously associated with humans. The outbreak of COVID-19 highlights the importance of a rapid response to infectious diseases in a highly interconnected world. Innovative diagnostic technologies are key tools in the fight against the spread of COVID-19, allowing frontline responders to quickly triage patients, especially in fragile healthcare systems. This project will develop tools to provide field-ready, low-cost, and deployable surge capacity for the diagnosis and surveillance of COVID-19. Moreover, it aims to foster the ability of teams in Vietnam and Brazil to design and manufacture diagnostic tests.

This project was selected for funding through the Canadian 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Rapid Research Funding Opportunity, coordinated by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research in partnership with IDRC, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, and Genome Canada.

Project ID
Project Status
24 months
IDRC Officer
Fabiano Santos
Total Funding
CA$ 1,000,000.00
Viet Nam
Institution Country
Project Leader
Keith Pardee
The Governing Council of the University of Toronto