The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has signed an MoU with Reliance to develop a new RT-LAMP COVID-19 diagnostic kit, which is cheap and gives a quick result, said Director-General Dr Shekhar C Mande on Wednesday.
COVID-19 RT-LAMP (Reverse Transcriptase-Loop Mediated Isothermal Amplification) test is a nucleic acid-based test carried out from nasal or throat swab samples from the patients. The test has been developed and successfully demonstrated using synthetic templates.
Talking about the test, Dr Mande said that "RT-LAMP test is cheap because you don't need to have instrument cost. It's also quite quick. You can actually take it into different areas. You can very quickly take it into the rural area."
The CSIR on Tuesday had announced that the Institute of Integrative Medicine in Jammu has tied up with Reliance Industries Ltd to develop and scale-up a new RT-LAMP based COVID-19 diagnostic kit.
Dr Mande said that the new testing kit "could cost between Rs 100 and Rs 200. It will take less than an hour for a test to do. Within one hour, we can get the result."
Talking about the difference between Feluda test and RT-LAMP kit, Dr Mande said: "Technological basis of Feluda kit and RT-LAMP kit is different. Faluda is based on technique call crisper cash, while RT-LAMP is based on RT-PCR. There is isothermal PCR. So, the technology of both kits is different."
"RT PCR requires a specialised machine. The first step is a reverse transcription that is common to both RT-PCR as well as RT-LAMP. The second step is once DNA is made from RNA, the PCR quantitative to PCR machine does three cycles of temperature," added he.
The CSIR-DG said further said: "In this condition, you do something at 92 degrees; you do something at 55 degrees; you do something at 73 degrees, and you keep cycling between these three temperatures about 25 and 30 times, and in each cycle the number of DNA molecules doubles and you measure. That is in the fluorescent level. So that is a base of RT-PCR."
"But RT-PCR required this machine the fluorescent level is costly and it takes time. On the other hand, the RT-LAMP test is using only four to six primers for the amplification of DNA. It uses four and six primers and you do the amplification of DNA. First of all, it is common for converting RNA into DNA. When in the second step, you use only a single temperature something like 60-degree Celsius," he added.
Dr Mande informed that the Institute of Integrative Medicine in Jammu and Reliance Industries Ltd have agreed that they will scale up the production of the test kit.
( With inputs from ANI )