COVID KAVACH: India’s first indigenous ELISA Test Kit for COVID-19

The National Institute of Virology has indigenously developed antibody detection kit for COVID-19. The kit will play significant role in surveillance of COVID-19 infection.

Highlights

The kit is capable of testing 90 samples in a single run of 2.5 hours. The kit was jointly developed by ICMR (Indian Council of Medical Research) and NIV. The kit validated the indigenous IGG ELISA test called “COVID KAVACH ELISA”.

The kit will test the presence of IGG antibodies in the sample. It is sensitive, cost-effective and rapid. The major advantage of the kit is that it requires minimal bio-safety and bio-security requirements as compared to that of the RT-PCR test. RT-PCR is Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction. The test measures the amount of specific RNA.

It is to be noted that the ICMR cancelled about half a million COVID-19 antibody test kits from China as they were found to be giving inaccurate results.

The Gujarat based Zydus Cadila is to produce the kits on a large scale. The NIV is to conduct the technology transfer to the company. This is a huge leap in the progress of India’s fight against COVID-19 as India is importing most of its diagnostic materials.

Significance

The kit is also capable of performing ELISA-based testing. ELISA is Enzyme-linked Immunosorbent Assay. ELISA is used to detect antibodies for a wide range of infections, especially antibody of HIV.

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