Huntingdon lab providing faster COVID-19 tests and results

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HUNTINGDON, Pa. (WTAJ) — Getting results back after testing for the coronavirus can sometimes take a full week but a local company is getting results back to the doctors much quicker, all while helping a specific group of people in our area.

Dr. Regina Lamendella, a biology professor at Juniata college, is the co-founder of Contamination Source Identification (CSI) in Huntingdon. In an effort with Dr. D. Holmes Morton, MD,  at the Central Pennsylvania Clinic, an office that caters to the Amish and Mennonite communities, Lemendella and her team have tested 100 samples for the coronavirus using a specific test.

“It’s been really great bringing this state of the art technology to meet the needs of a population that is pretty much at risk in the terms in the fact that the Amish and Mennonite communities there is a lot of genetic disorders,” Lamendella said.

The test used is called CSI-DX.

“Our test is more robust in that genome of the virus so it’s looking at the entire nucleic acid,” Lamendella said.

This helps with sensitivity and specificity.

“There could be people walking around out there with the virus that we’re not able to detect so that’s why a more robust technology like CSI-DX is really helpful,” Lamendella said.

Since April 1st, Lamendella said her team have tested about 100 samples. She also added that CSI-DX is 100% accurate. The lab is also able to provide doctors with test results in 19 hours or less.

The team is testing about 48 samples per day but Lamendella said she hopes to increase the number to 100 in the coming weeks. Dr. Lamendella also said she hopes to expand her tests to places in Huntingdon, Penn Highlands and even some hospitals in York.

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