With only 48 hours to get things ready for the first batch of COVID-19 test samples they knew they were up for a challenge!
ALS is a leading testing, inspection, certification, and verification company headquartered in Brisbane, Australia. Servicing multiple industries globally, ALS employs over 13,000 staff in over 65 countries.
At Inspiralia we have been working with ALS on the Iberian market, related to their project Phagovet which received funding from the Fast Track to Innovation program back in 2018.
Daniela Silva, the coordinator of the project, tells us about how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the day-to-day routines at their laboratories in Portugal.
“Once we received the call from the Portuguese authorities that our installations were needed for the testing of samples that could be COVID-19 positive, I was both honoured by their confidence in us, the possibility to join the fight against the virus, and at the same time felt concerned for the safety of our laboratory staff.
Almost from one day to another we had to make sure all safety precautions were set in place as the tests we normally perform are not classified on the same risk level as the COVID-19 virus. It was a challenge for the whole team, but now we have been up and running since March 30th, analysing around 4.000 test samples so far.”
For those interested in the FTI (Fast Track to Innovation) Phagovet project which received funding from the European Commission, and which form part of the normal daily activity at ALS, read on!
ALS is working to satisfy the market demand for a more secure and reliable solution to control Salmonella and E. coli infections in poultry farms.
Avian colibacillosis and salmonellosis are considered the main bacterial infections in the poultry sector having an important economic impact worldwide.
Moreover, the overuse of antibiotics in farming has caused a rise in antimicrobial resistance, this being one of the reasons for the death of 700,000 people annually caused by drug-resistant infections. It is estimated that this number will rise to 10 million by 2050.
What Phagovet proposes is to take a more positive direction with a cost-effective alternative to antibiotics for the treatment of Salmonella and E. coli. The solution consists of a biocide and two technological food additive products based on selected bacteriophages able to kill the target bacteria.
Their estimations indicate a reduction of Salmonella infections by 20% and an impressive reduction in the use of antibiotics to treat E. coli with 50%.
From Inspiralia we wish them all the best with the continuous testing and their important work on developing a control measure for improved conditions at poultry farms and human health.