Texas A&M veterinary labs produces 2,000 COVID-19 test kits


The Texas A&M Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Lab has assembled more than 2,000 COVID-19 sampling kits that will be sent to hospitals across Texas.

The lab repurposed viral sampling kits used on pigs, cows and chickens to be used on humans.

The test kit will go all over the state including to Galveston, McAllen and Fort Worth.

“No one has ever done this before, but tough times call for creative measures,” said John Sharp, chancellor of the Texas A&M University System. “The very same experts who help track disease outbreaks in animals have put their minds to the biggest problem we all face today and doing what they can to help.”

Dr. Bruce Akey said the lab was able to get overnight help from other labs in Amarillo and Gonzales in order to start assembling the kits.

“We are assembling the supplies into sampling kits here in our College Station lab,” Akey said. “We know that 2,000 may not seem like much when there are 20-plus million Texans at risk that may need testing, but if you need to be tested and you can’t right now because they don’t have this kit then it’s a pretty big deal to you and your family. So we are doing what we can right now.”

The kits consist of a swab, a vial with transport media to preserve the sample and a bag. They have been approved by the FDA and CDC.

“We hope to get these sampling kits in the hospitals or clinics where they are most needed as soon as possible,” Akey said. “We are pulling out all the stops.”