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A team that included staff from the University of Otago microbiology and immunology department and Southern Community Laboratories (SCL), earlier this year rapidly adapted a German test, which detected the first confirmed Dunedin Covid-19 cases in mid-March.
Team member and SCL consultant clinical microbiologist Associate Prof James Ussher said the initial test, running on a United States-made automated machine, still undertook most of the city's testing for the Southern District Health Board.
However, adding the Australian test last month had increased Dunedin's overall capacity, contributing to a city record of more than 600 tests, processed in one day late last month, and provided a valuable backup to the main system.
Hard work by SCL molecular pathology department head Dr Jenny Grant had helped make the Australian testing system a reality in Dunedin, he said.