New Delhi, June 25: Minister of State for Education Sanjay Dhotre on Friday launched an “affordable” and “accurate” rapid antigen test kit developed by the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi for COVID-19.
This rapid antigen test kit costs just Rs 50 and is 100% indigenously developed and manufactured. The Rapid Antigen Testing Kit has been developed by researchers led by Dr Harpal Singh, Professor, Center for Biomedical Engineering, IIT Delhi.
Professor V. Ramgopal Rao, Director IIT Delhi said, “IIT Delhi launched the RTPCR kit worth Rs 399 in July last year, which helped bring down the RTPCR test cost to the current level. So far more than 80 lakh PPE kits have been supplied using the technologies developed in this institute. With the launch of this antigen based rapid test kit, we hope to make diagnostics easier and cheaper for rural areas.”
He stated, “Now a rapid diagnostic kit for Covid-19 is being launched by the institute at a cost of Rs 50. The technology has been patented by IIT Delhi,”.
Congratulating the researchers of IIT Delhi and its manufacturing partners on the launch of the kit, Minister of State Sanjay Dhotre said, “I am confident that this technology will revolutionize the availability of COVID tests in the country. I am glad to know that this kit has been completely developed using internal resources at IIT Delhi.”
Dhotre congratulated researchers Prof Harpal Singh and Dr. Dinesh Kumar. Apart from this, he also thanked IIT Delhi for helping the country become self-reliant in fighting the pandemic by using indigenously developed technologies and products made in India.
Professor Harpal Singh, while mentioning the salient features of this Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) certified technology, said that the kit is used for in vitro qualitative research of SARS-CoV-2 antigen. The SARS-CoV-2 Antigen Rapid Test is a colloidal gold enhanced double antibody sandwich immunoassay for the qualitative determination of the SARS-CoV-2 antigen in human nasal swab, throat swab and deep saliva samples. It is suitable for general population screening and diagnosis of COVID-19.
He said that the invention is directed towards an in vitro diagnostic kit for qualitative detection of SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus antigen in nasopharyngeal swab, using rapid immune chromatographic method. This detection is based on monoclonal antibodies specific to the corona virus antigen. The results obtained are qualitative based and can be estimated even when viewed with open eyes.
Harpal noted that a SARS-CoV-2-positive sample produces a characteristic colored band in the test area, which is the specific antibody antigen colored conjugate complex (AU-SARS-CoV-2-Ab)-(SARS-CoV-2- Ag)-(SARS-cov-2-ab). The absence of this colored band in the test region suggests a negative result. They said that a colored band always appeared in the control region that served as a procedural control, whether the sample contained SARS-Cov-2 or not.
Harpal said that the test has been found suitable for initial Ct values (Ct values between 14 to 32) with sensitivity – 90 per cent, specificity – 100 per cent and accuracy – 98.99 per cent and has been certified by ICMR. This is one of the best prices available for any such test kit. This technology and its manufacture is 100% indigenous.