ICMR approves dry swab RT-PCR method for Covid detection
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The simple and fast method of dry swab-direct RT-PCR, developed by CSIR's constituent lab Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB), Hyderabad, for scaling up coronavirus detection has now been approved by the Indian Council of Medical Research.

This method developed by CSIR-CCMB is a simple variation of the existing gold standard RT-PCR method and can easily scale up the testing by two to three fold with no new investment of resources.

After evaluating this method and finding an overall concordance of 96.9 per cent, the ICMR has now issued an advisory for the use of CSIR-CCMB dry swab method, considering its lesser cost and quick turn-around time.

Dry swab-direct RT-PCR method involves collecting and transporting the nasal swab in dry state (as opposed to using the viral transport medium VTM) which makes the transportation and handling of the samples easy and less prone to spillage and spread of infection.

Omitting the step of RNA isolation offers a huge benefit over the conventional method, as the RNA isolation is a major bottleneck in terms of time, cost and trained manpower.

Rakesh Mishra, Director, CCMB, said, "RNA extraction, even with automation, takes four hours for roughly 500 samples. VTM and RNA extraction both add a significant burden on money and time required for mass testing for coronavirus. We believe the technique's merit holds for all kinds of settings and has the potential of bringing the costs and time of testing by 40-50 per cent."

Source: https://health.economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/diagnostics/icmr-approves-dry-swab-rt-pcr-method-for-covid-detection/79457228
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