ICMR's Indigenous Antibody Test Approved For Mass Production

ICMR's Indigenous Antibody Test Approved For Mass Production

Published11 May 2020, 07:01 AM IST
Fit
2 min read

National Institute of Virology, Pune has developed "India's first indigenous" anti-SARS-CoV-2 human IgG ELISA test kit - 'Kavach Elisa' - for antibody detection of COVID-19, said Dr Harsh Vardhan, Union Health Minister on Sunday, 10 May.

"The technology has been transferred to Zydus and Cadila for mass-scale", he added.

In a series of tweets, he also informed that this kit was validated in Mumbai and has high sensitivity and accuracy. It can test 90 samples in 2.5 hours. These are cost effective, rapid and can be tested at any level of clinical setting.

The enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) can detect IgG antibodies in blood samples. It is used for detecting HIV infections too.

It will help the government in surveillance of proportion of population exposed to coronavirus.

Earlier, India had cancelled antibody tests from China due to fault in their reading, as reported by FIT. Earlier, India had cancelled antibody tests from China due to fault in their reading, as reported by FIT

As RT-PCR tests can only detect the RNA of coronavirus, it is not useful to check if a person had coronavirus infection in the past and recovered. However, since more than 70% cases of coronavirus are either asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic, it is important to check antibodies in the blood. 

While RT-PCR tests are used for diagnosis purpose, antibody tests are used only to check past infection and presence of antibodies in the blood. It is important to note that the antibodies take some time to develop. Talking about two types of antibody tests (IgG and IgM), Dr Shahid Jameel who is a Virologist & CEO of Wellcome Trust DBT India Alliance told FIT earlier,

Earlier experts had questioned why India is not developing its own antibody tests. This new development will come as a relief for many.

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