CSIR institute offers to train staff on its dry swab RT-PCR tests, which is less hazardous to transport and quicker to generate results

CSIR-Centre for Cellular & Molecular Biology (CCMB) has offered to provide necessary technical know how and training to the healthcare personnel in handling the dry swab RT-PCR testing or ‘DArRT-PCR’ for COVID-19 on Friday.

Director Rakesh Mishra informed that the dry swab test is extremely useful, particularly in the current pandemic surge when there is a need for increasing the number of testing. It has been developed in-house last year and has been tested extensively across various labs as well as hospitals in the last few months and is awaiting regulatory clearances.

It found further validation through a second advisory from the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), paving the way for quick release of this method into the market. “There is no specific technique, but we are ready to help to familiarise healthcare workers on this method, which is cheaper, safer and faster,” he said.

How the dry swab test scores over the traditional method of RT-PCT tests is in how the sample is stored after taking nose and throat swabs are packed and transported for testing to identify a positive a negative patient without the need for expensive liquid Viral Transport Medium (VTM).

If the original RT-PCR test results take upto 24-48 hours or more, the dry swab test result come out in just three hours. It is because “the collection of the swab in the liquid and RNA isolation steps are dispensed with,” say CCMB research scholars Sai Uday Kiran and C. Gokulan

“It is very user friendly as it makes easy for the collection of samples for testing. Since no liquid is involved, there is no spillage either. We have already conducted 50,000 tests using the dry swabs successfully,” testified CSIR-National Environment Engineering Research Institute (NEER) scientist and head of the COVID testing centre Krishna Khairnar.

Dr. Mishra said interested healthcare professionals or labs can mail to director@ccmb.res.in or somdattakarak@ccmb.res.in, or call on 040-27160789/9773468303, for further details.

A full fledged kit developed in collaboration with the Apollo Hospitals and Meril Life Pvt Ltd., is under validation from the Drug Controller General of India (DGCI) and these could be released into the market in the coming days, he added.



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