COVID-19 test result in minutes! ‘Feluda’ India’s first paper strip test; check details

By: |
May 6, 2020 1:00 PM

Although this method has been tested by scientists in other countries including Stanford University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), it is the first such indigenous test kit to be developed in India based on CRISPR technology.

The kit is similar to a compact paper-strip test used to confirm pregnancy.

India’s first COVID-19 detecting paper strip ‘Feluda’ delivers results within minutes! One of the most pertinent questions going on in everyone’s head is if they are infected with Coronavirus but have no symptoms? In a matter of minutes, courtesy writer and film-maker Satyajit Ray’s popular fictional detective, ‘Feluda,’ could now clear all your doubts. The ‘Feluda’ is a paper-based test strip that detects the latest coronavirus in an hour, and can now be the solution to the urgent need for rapid testing in India, a LiveMint report indicates.

A team led by two scientists of Bengali descent, Dr. Souvik Maiti and Dr. Debojyoti Chakraborty, at the Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology (CSIR-IGIB) of the Council of Science & Industrial Research in New Delhi, have come up with a simple strip-test to tell you if you have COVID-19 in minutes, a New18 report has stated. The study uses the state-of-the-art gene-editing tool-Crispr-Cas9 to target and identify genomic sequences of the novel coronavirus in suspected individual samples.

The kit is similar to a compact paper-strip test used to confirm pregnancy and is much less complex and needs no specific professional expertise to perform. The team led by Dr Souvik Maiti and Dr Debjyoti Chakraborty is currently testing the package in a patient population for its accuracy and responsiveness and hopes to obtain approval within a week from an Indian Medical Research Council (ICMR) regulatory body.

Unlike the real-time PCR test currently being used for Covid-19 diagnosis in India, which costs about 4500, the paper-strip test costs less than 500. It also does not rely on expensive real-time PCR machines for RNA isolation, DNA conversion, and amplification which are already in limited supply, the News18 report indicated.

Although this method has been tested by scientists in other countries including Stanford University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), it is the first such indigenous test kit to be developed in India based on CRISPR technology.

This testing method can be a boon for India where lockdown is about to end and people will have to come back to work. The ability to know if they have Coronavirus infection or not will help firms and employees in decision making over the resumption of coming to office for work.

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