ELISA Testing Kit: All you need to know about the first Made in India detection kit for coronavirus

ELISA testing kit: National Institute of Virology (NIV), Pune, has successfully developed India's first indigenous antibody detection kit 'ELISA' (COVID Kavach Elisa) to combat COVID-19.
Created On: May 12, 2020 15:20 IST
Modified On: Jul 3, 2020 19:13 IST
ELISA testing kit
ELISA testing kit

On Sunday, Union  Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan announced that National Institute of Virology (NIV), Pune, has successfully developed India's first indigenous antibody detection kit 'ELISA' (COVID Kavach Elisa) to combat COVID-19. He further added that the kit will play an important role in detecting coronavirus infection. 

The kit can test 90 samples at a time within 2.5 hours. This, in turn, will help the healthcare professional in taking further steps. As per the Union Health Minister, the kit is validated at two sites in Mumbai and has shown high accuracy. The ELISA-based testing kit is possible even at the district level.

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The kit has been prepared within a month and will help the medical professionals in studying the presence of anti-SARS-CoV-2 IgG antibodies in India's population. This means that if a person has an IgG antibody present in his immune system, then the person was infected with the virus and has now developed antibodies against it. The kit is cost-effective and rapid and can test a large number of samples anywhere-- clinical setting, public health care centres and hospitals. 

Types of COVID-19 tests available in India: 

Currently, there are two types of COVID-19 testing available:

1- RT-PCR test: The PCR (Polymerase chain reaction) test for COVID-19 detection is being carried out in India. In this type of test, a nasal or throat swab is used to detect the infection and the result can be obtained within 5 hours. As per the Health Ministry, RT-PCR (Reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction) test is the gold standard test for the detection of COVID-19. 

2- Antibody test: It is also known as a serological test. This type of test is useful for the detection of virus present in the body. In an antibody test, blood samples are collected to find anti-bodies and the number of antibodies produced by the immune system.  

What does ELISA stand for?

ELISA stands for enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. 

What are the antibodies?

Antibodies are Y-shaped proteins mainly produced by plasma cells used by the immune system to neutralize pathogens-- viruses and bacterias. They are five types of antibodies present in a human body-- IgG, IgM, IgA, IgE and IgD. Here Ig stands for -- immunoglobulin. 

Zydus Cadila, a Gujarat-based firm will produce ELISA testing kits on mass-scale for the detection of COVID-19 infection. Recently, ICMR has cancelled orders for half a million rapid testing kits from China as they were faulty. 

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