ICMR develops India’s first indigenous antibody detection kit for COVID-19
ICMR has developed India’s first indigenous human IgG ELISA test kit for the detection of antibodies of COVID-19.
The National Institute of Virology (NIV) in Pune has successfully developed India’s first indigenous antibody detection kit for novel coronavirus. Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said that the antibody test will play a significant role in surveillance for COVID-19 infection.
The indigenous human IgG ELISA antibody test kit, also known as “COVID KAVACHH ELISA” was developed and validated by the Indian Council of Medical Research’s National Institute of Virology (NIV) at Pune.
The test kit was validated at two sites in Mumbai and was reported to have high sensitivity and accuracy. This was confirmed by the Union Health Minister.
The indigenous IgG ELISA test to detect antibodies for novel coronavirus infection is expected to play an important role in the surveillance of the population exposed to the deadly virus. It will help detect the asymptomatic COVID-19 cases.
• The IgG ELISA antibody test kit can test up to 90 samples together in a single run of 2.5 hours. This will help the health care professions to take necessary further steps quickly. The testing is easily possible even at the district level as well.
• The test kit will help detect the presence of anti-SARS-CoV-2 IgG antibodies among the people. The test was developed in just a month.
• Besides being cost-effective, the test-kit is sensitive, rapid, and a large number of samples can be tested at any level of the clinical setting, public health centers and hospitals.
• The Indian Council of Medical Research has partnered with Zydus Cadila for mass production of the ELISA test kits.
• The Drug Controller General has granted commercial production & marketing permission to Zydus. Zydus Cadila is one of India’s leading healthcare companies that manufactures generic drugs.
What are antibody tests?
The antibody tests are conducted to detect coronavirus antibodies in the blood of an individual, to find out whether the person was infected with COVID-19 infection or not.
The Coronavirus pandemic has currently affected over 214 countries across the world with a total of 40,97,158 confirmed cases and 2,82,495 deaths. With the unprecedented rise in cases, there is also a rise in demand for various kinds of diagnostic tests across the world. India currently imports most of the diagnostic material for COVID-19 from other countries.
Indian scientists and researchers are currently engaged in developing indigenous diagnostics for the SARS-CoV-2 virus. ICMR’s National Institute of Virology (NIV) is one of the top laboratories of the country that is equipped with state-of-art infrastructure and expertise for research in virology.
NIV’s scientists had earlier successfully isolated the SARS-CoV-2 virus from laboratory-confirmed patients in India. This development paved the way for the development of indigenous diagnostics for SARS-CoV-2.