TIFR Hyderabad develops method to detect Coronavirus in 30 minutes

At present, the most accurate Covid-19 testing method happens to be an RT-PCR based test.

By   |  Published: 18th Sep 2020  3:24 pmUpdated: 18th Sep 2020  8:12 pm
Sunayana Sarkar (graduate student at Dr. Manish Jaiswal’s lab) demonstrates the working principle of the LAMP assay

Hyderabad: Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR) Hyderabad researchers have standardised a colour-based assay for visual detection of SARS-CoV-2 RNA in 30 minutes.

At present, the most accurate Covid-19 testing method happens to be an RT-PCR based test. However, this method consumes 6 hours to 8 hours for the reaction and requires an expensive experimental setup.

TIFR researchers on Friday said the Reverse Transcription Loop-Mediated Isothermal Amplification (RT-LAMP) assay has emerged as a viable alternative to meet the need for quick and reliable testing methods.

Led by Dr. Manish Jaiswal, the researchers have standardised a LAMP assay which can rapidly detect the SARS-CoV-2 RNA in just 30 minutes. The results are determined by a change in colour of the sample once the reagents are added. It is easily visible to the eye, hence, aiding in a faster and easier detection.

Contrary to the RT-PCR based test, this assay does not need any expensive experimental setup, the researchers said, adding the data shows that the assay has been able to detect positive samples with sufficient reliability.

According to the researchers, the test was validated against both positive and negative patient samples. The validation of this assay was carried out by Dr. Madhumohan Rao K of Nizam’s Institute of Medical Sciences and ESIC Hospital Medical College, Hyderabad.

In order to make this assay widely available, the TIFR Hyderabad research team is exploring production and distribution opportunities with both government organisations and the industry.


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