Pécs Virologists Inactivate Coronavirus

Researchers of the Virology National Laboratory at the Szentágothai János Research Centre, University of Pécs and RoLink Biotechnology Ltd. have inactivated the coronavirus in a UV chamber developed in-house, using UV-C light, thus making the COVID-19 pathogen more widely accessible for research.

At the Virology National Laboratory of the Szentágothai Research Centre, University of Pécs, UV-C light was used to successfully inactivate the Wuhan and Delta variants of SARS-CoV-2, which caused the COVID-19 pandemic. In a collaboration between the company and the university, the UV-C inactivation experiments allowed the researchers to determine the UV-C irradiation dose that eliminates the infectivity of the virus without damaging its proteins.

This result opens up new possibilities for COVID research by allowing the study of the pathogen using a range of methods that were previously unavailable.

The new type of coronavirus, inactivated by UV-C, will be used in research to detect virus-specific antibody and cellular immune response and to characterise the specific immune profile of SARS-CoV-2, among other things. These results may also provide an excellent basis for clinical diagnostic and vaccine efficacy studies related to COVID-19.

The present research has been made possible by the almost HUF 130 million that RoLink Biotechnology Ltd. has received in the framework of the 2020-2.1.1-ED-2020-00100 project of the Ministry of Innovation and Technology's National Research, Development and Innovation Office, where several research objectives have been identified. The primary objective was to develop and implement the above-mentioned procedure. As a second part of the project, the experts plan to carry out experimental studies to identify the most effective products for the treatment of patients with severe conditions based on the examination of blood plasma of patients with coronavirus infection. Thirdly, the researchers plan to develop a new system for testing coronavirus vaccines, which will allow the effectiveness of the vaccines to be clearly monitored.