(Media Swaraj Desk)
The Department of Molecular Medicine & Biotechnology, SGPGI has developed the “first rapid RNA-based test” that can detect COVID-19 infection – the fastest test so far.
This information has been given by the public relations department of the institute.
However , the technology is yet to be approved by the Indian Council of Medical Research ICMR before it can be used on humans.
According to a press release, “the Department has developed an efficient technology that can screen active COVID-19 infection at a much lower-cost.”
The research team was led by Prof. Swasti Tiwari, who is also the Head of the Department.
The test is a single-tube lab test which takes less than 30 min of laboratory time and has high specificity and sensitivity.
The test does not require sophisticated instrumentation or any expertise for result interpretation.
The data related to test development and optimisation have recently been communicated for publication in a scientific journal.
The process of testing human samples using this technology is underway. The technology can be made available for commercialisation through proper channel.
It requires ICMR approval for use in public.
This point-of-care test will have a direct impact on mass screening, and will especially benefit the people in screening/holding areas of various service centres such as hospitals and airports.
In response to media questions , Prof. Tiwari said, “We have developed an efficient technology that can screen active COVID-19 infection at a much lower-cost. The test does not require the use of any laboratory techniques.”
She further said , “It took about a month and a half to make the technology work for COVID. We have got ethical clearance for human samples.”
Prof. Tiwari said “None of the existing test methods are using such a technology for diagnosis. Our technology is very different and it is very fast. We used synthetic RNA for the virus and it worked very well,”