Chitra GeneLAMP-N Test Kit


  • Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology, Trivandrum, an Institute of National Importance, of the Department of Science and Technology (DST), has developed a diagnostic test kit that can confirm COVID19 in 2 hours at low cost.

About Chitra GeneLAMP-N

  • The test kit, funded by the DST called Chitra GeneLAMP-N, is highly specific for SARS-CoV-2 N-gene and can detect two regions of the gene.
  • It will help ensure that the test does not fail even if one region of the viral gene undergoes mutation during its current spread.

Mode of Working

  • The confirmatory diagnostic test detects the N Gene of SARS- COV2 using reverse transcriptase loop-mediated amplification of viral nucleic acid (RT-LAMP).
  • The tests performed at NIV Alappuzha (authorized by ICMR) show that Chitra GeneLAMP- N has 100% accuracy and match with test results using RT-PCR.
  • The results can be read from the machine from the change in fluorescence.


Benefits

  • Current PCR kits in India enable detection of E gene for screening and RdRp gene for confirmation.
  • Chitra GeneLAMP-N gene testing will allow confirmation in one test without the need for a screening test and at much lower costs.
  • The cost of testing with the new device for LAMP testing and the test kit for 2 regions of N gene( including RNA extraction) will be less than Rs 1000/test for the laboratory.
  • The detection time is 10 minutes, and the sample to result time (from RNA extraction in swab to RT-LAMP detection time) will be less than 2 hours.
  • A total of 30 samples can be tested in a single batch in a single machine allowing a large number of samples to be tested each day.
  • The testing facility can be easily set up even in the laboratories of district hospitals with limited facilities and trained laboratory technicians.

Reverse Transcription Loop-mediated Isothermal Amplification (RT-LAMP)

  • Loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) is a single-tube technique for the amplification of DNA and a low-cost alternative to detect certain diseases.
  • RT-LAMP) combines LAMP with a reverse transcription step to allow the detection of RNA.
  • RT-LAMP is used in the detection of viruses.
  • This method is very effective in detecting viruses with an RNA genome (Group II, IV, and V based on the Baltimore Virus Classification system).

Advantages

  • This method is specifically advantageous because it can all be done quickly in one step.
  • There is no need for expensive thermocycling equipment that is necessary for other methods like PCR, which makes RT-LAMP very cost effective.

Source : Civil Services Chronicle Online, April, 2020