- New dry swab testing method can be used for RT-PCR testing.
- The testing technique assures similar accuracy and is RNA-extraction-free.
- The original testing method does not require VTM and therefore, ensures fewer chances of leakage.
THD NewsDesk, New Delhi: On November 27, the Indian Council of Medical Research finally approved a unique dry swab Covid testing method.
The new testing technique developed by the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology, CCMB does not require extraction of RNA.
Contrary to the RT-CPR testing method that necessitates the storage of samples in a liquid named Viral Transport Medium (VTM) that adds to the processing time, the dry swab technique is relatively more quickly.
Citing the advantages dry swab testing has over the traditional method, Rakesh Mishra, Director of CCMB said in contrast to the process which requires RNA extraction; it takes up four hours for collecting around 500 samples, the dry swab method is far more efficient and cost-effective.
“We believe the technique’s merit holds for all kinds of settings and has the potential of bringing down the costs and time of testing by 40-50 per cent. It is a game-changing technology as with the existing infrastructure, the throughput of COVID-19 screening can be enhanced several-fold with immediate effect. At the same time, making the whole process safer,” Mishra said.
Moreover, the conventional testing method increases the risk of leakage that can make the batches untestable. Additionally, the samples collected through RNA extraction need to be packed heavily that increases the burden on health workers.
This innovative testing method engineered by CCMB researchers provides a solution to the problems encountered earlier. Further, it guarantees the same accuracy level as the RT-CPR method.
Source: The Print