RIL teams up with CSIR-IIIM to jointly develop RT-LAMP based test for Coronavirus
27 May 2020
Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) has partnered with CSIR-IIIM, Jammu, a constituent laboratory of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), to develop and scale up a new Reverse Transcriptase-Loop Mediated Isothermal Amplification (RT-LAMP)-based Covid-19 diagnostic kit, for which a formal MoU has also been signed between CSIR-IIIM, Jammu and RIL.
Covid-19 RT-LAMP test is a nucleic acid based test carried out from nasal/throat swab sample from patients. The test recipe has been developed and successfully demonstrated using synthetic templates. It is rapid (45-60 min), cost effective and accurate test. It has been tested with a small number of patients samples and the partners plan to validate the kit on more number of patient samples.
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. While the, the current Covid-19 testing is done by real-time PCR their components are mostly imported. Further, these tests are expensive; 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, etc.
On the other hand, the RT-LAMP test can be done in a single tube with minimal expertise in a very basic lab setup like mobile units / kiosks for testing at airports, railway stations, bus stands and other public places. The end detection of the test is a simple coloured reaction, which is easily visible in UV light, and it is now being modified such that it can be detected in regular light.
After testing the accuracy of the kit, on a much larger number of patients, CSIR-IIIM and RIL will jointly approach ICMR for approval. RIL plans to rapidly scale up the tests for the larger population and use it for easy, rapid and widespread diagnosis for Covid-19 detection for the larger interest of society.
RT-LAMP a rapid, accurate and cost-effective test can be done with indigenous components and set up with minimal expertise and instrumentation
With the formal launch of the RT-LAMP based diagnostic test, the Covid-19 testing will not only be more rapid, cheap, easy and accessible but also would go a long way quickly isolating the infected individuals and mitigating the spread of virus.
Ram Vishwakarma, director and Sumit Gandhi, principal scientist from CSIR-IIIM and Santanu Dasgupta, senior vice president, R&D and Manish Shukla, general manager R&D from RIL side are monitoring this project.
As part of Covid-19 mitigation mission, CSIR has strategised its R&D to develop, integrate, scale up, and deploy necessary technological interventions for combating Coronavirus pandemic in the country.
Considering the multifarious problems created by coronavirus, which require interventions, the CSIR under the guidance of director general Shekhar Mande, has formed five verticals to coordinate various research activities into - digital and molecular surveillance, drugs and vaccines, rapid and economical diagnostics, hospital assistive devices and PPEs, and supply chain and logistics.