NEERI Develops Saline Gargle RT-PCR Testing Method

  • 01 Jun 2021

  • Scientists of Nagpur-based National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI) under Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) have developed a 'Saline Gargle RT-PCR Method' for testing COVID-19 samples.
  • The method has received approval from the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).
  • As per the method, a patient is required to gargle a saline solution and spit into a simple collection tube. This sample in the collection tube is then taken to a laboratory where it is kept at room temperature in a special buffer solution prepared by Neeri. An RNA template is produced when this solution is heated. The solution is further processed for reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR).
  • It is simple, fast, cost-effective, patient-friendly and comfortable; it also offers instant results (in three hours) and is well-suited for rural and tribal areas, given minimal infrastructure requirements.
  • The method is non-invasive and so simple that the patient herself can collect the sample.
  • Swab collection method requires time. Moreover, since it is an invasive technique, it is a bit uncomfortable for patients. Some time is lost also in the transport of the sample to the collection centre.