RT-LAMP Based Test For Coronavirus

  • As part of COVID-19 mitigation mission of Country, CSIR-IIIM, Jammu a constituent laboratory of CSIR has partnered with Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) to develop and scale-up a new Reverse Transcriptase-Loop Mediated Isothermal Amplification (RT-LAMP) based COVID-19 diagnostic kit.
  • It has been tested with a small number of patients samples and validating the kit on more number of patient samples is planned and will be done together with RIL.


  • COVID-19 RT-LAMP test is a nucleic acid based test carried out from nasal/throat swab sample from patients.
  • The test recipe has been developed and successfully demonstrated using synthetic templates.


  • It is rapid (45-60 min), cost effective and accurate test.
  • RT-LAMP based COVID-19 kit components are easily available and these can be completely manufactured in India.
  • RT-LAMP test can be done in a single tube with minimal expertise in a very basic lab setup like mobile units / kiosks for testing at Airports, Railway Stations, Bus Stands and other public places.
  • The end detection of the test is a simple colored reaction, which is easily visible in UV light, and now is being modified such that it can be detected in regular light.


  • With the formal launch of the RT-LAMP based diagnostic test, the COVID-19 testing will not only be more rapid, cheap, easy and accessible but also would go a long way quickly isolating the infected individuals and mitigating the spread of virus.

Advantage over Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR)

  • The standard test for COVID-19 so far has been the Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR).
  • It is done after taking nasal or throat swabs of the patient, from which RNA is extracted and converted to DNA, which is then amplified before being checked for confirmation of the virus.
  • It takes up to nine hours. The long time is also because the swab is first screened to decide the family of the virus; if that confirms it is a coronavirus, a second test is done to ascertain if it is indeed the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV2.
  • Further, real-time PCR tests are expensive; they require highly trained manpower, costly instruments, and a relatively high-end lab and cannot be deployed at remote locations in quarantine centers, airports and railway stations, etc.