rt-pcr: ICMR evaluates RT-PCR method for faster detection of Covid | Pune News
Dr Samiran Panda, Senior Scientist and Head of ICMR’s Epidemiology and Communicable Diseases Division, told TOI that RNA extraction before RT-PCR testing is currently a major bottleneck as it takes time consuming, expensive and required skilled human resources. He said: “RNA extraction is an additional step in the whole RT-PCR testing process. There had been previous suggestions that the test could be performed by omitting RNA extraction from dry swab samples, subjecting them to methods such as buffering for 30 minutes and inactivation. thermal at 98 degrees C for 6 minutes.
Researchers assessed the performance of this alternative method by enrolling 1138 clinic participants from two independent study sites in Pune and Kolkata – ICMR-National AIDS Research Institute, Pune and School of Tropical Medicine, Kolkata.
Dr Panda said that with the growing demand for a large number of tests during Covid-19, the new method studied was an alternative protocol with a shortened turnaround time and the potential to address the shortage of kits. RNA extraction.
He said: “This is important research for India, as it suggests an alternative method of RT-PCR testing in resource-constrained environments, which may have limited technical human resources and cannot be resourced. procure RNA extraction kits and equipment. Care should be taken, however, to properly select a primer-probe assembly and heat treatment approach when using this method. Carefully chosen heating methods must be deployed. Thus, not all laboratories can opt for this method.
The new method reduced the overall test run time by two hours. The overall sensitivity (the test’s ability to correctly identify people with the disease) of the new method was 78.9%. This was, however, low compared to the existing gold standard RT-PCR method. But the researchers said the method could serve as an alternative protocol to identify SARS-CoV-2 infection in resource-poor settings during times of high demand.