CSIR-IIIM, RIL to develop new COVID-19 diagnostic test

CSIR-IIIM, RIL to develop and scale-up new COVID-19 diagnostic test

The Institute of Integrative Medicine in Jammu has tied up with Reliance Industries Ltd to develop and scale-up a new Reverse Transcriptase-Loop Mediated Isothermal Amplification (RT-LAMP)-based COVID-19 diagnostic kit, the CSIR said in a statement.

A memorandum of understanding (MoU) has also been signed between IIIM-Jammu and RIL, the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) said in a statement.

The IIIM is a research institute under the CSIR.

COVID-19 RT-LAMP test is a nucleic acid-based test carried out from nasal or throat swab sample from patients. The test has been developed and successfully demonstrated using synthetic templates.

It is a rapid (45-60 minutes), cost-effective and accurate test, the statement said. 

It has been tested with a small number of samples of patients and validating the kit on more number of patient samples is planned and will be done together with RIL, it added.

The advantage of this test is that the RT-LAMP-based COVID-19 kit components are easily available and these can be completely manufactured in India, the statement said. 

The current COVID-19 testing is done by real-time PCR and their components are mostly imported. 

These tests are expensive and require highly trained manpower, costly instruments and a relatively high-end lab and cannot be deployed at remote locations in quarantine centres, airports and railway stations, it said.

On the other hand, the RT-LAMP test can be done with minimal expertise in a very basic lab setup like mobile units or kiosks for testing at airports, railway stations, bus stands and other public places, the statement added. 

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