- Author: Kathy Keatley Garvey
Scientists will share information on COVID-19 saliva, hospital, and sewage surveillance tests--as well as the Healthy Davis Together program--at a UC Davis virtual symposium set for 5 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 13.
UC Davis Chancellor Gary May will deliver the opening remarks. UC Davis scientists Richard Michelmore, Nam Tran and Heather Bischel will explain the UC Davis COVID tests and answer questions, said UC Davis distinguished professor Walter Leal, who is organizing and moderating the symposium.
The public is invited to submit advance questions and also may ask questions during the symposium via the Zoom chat.
“This symposium will yield important information that everyone should know,” said Leal, a chemical ecologist with the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology and a former chair of the Department of Entomology, now the Department of Entomology and Nematology. Registration is underway at https://bit.ly/2Li9pnV.
“Registration is required for the symposium, even if you cannot attend the live presentation but are interested in retrieving the symposium video later,” Leal said. This is the fourth in a series of COVID-19 symposiums that he has organized and moderated since April 23. A query from one of his students prompted the Jan. 13 symposium.
Free COVID-19 saliva tests are being administered by appointment to the Davis community--those who live in Davis or work at UC Davis--at testing kiosks on campus. It is a rapid, comprehensive laboratory-developed test that detects whether a person is currently infected with the coronavirus. The UC Davis Genome Center processes the saliva samples. Technically, the test uses a high throughput, real time, quantitative polymerase chain reaction protocol run on machines repurposed from the agricultural genetics industry.
The symposium also will cover how the COVID-19 tests administered in an hospital emergency room or at bedside can distinguish between whether a patient has COVID-19 or the flu. In addition, wastewater surveillance tests, also known as sewage tests, are underway to detect the virus.
“Healthy Davis Together” is a program partnering UC Davis with the City of Davis to prevent the spread of the virus and “to facilitate a coordinated and gradual return to regular city activities and reintegration of UC Davis students back into the Davis community.”
Michelmore, a UC Davis distinguished professor, directs the Genome Center, and holds joint appointments with the College of Biological Sciences, School of Medicine, and the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.
Tran is an associate clinical professor in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine who specializes in clinical chemistry and point-of-care. Bischel is an assistant professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering.
- All about COVID-19 Saliva Testing on the UC Davis campus (What it's all about and how to make an appointment)