♦ The Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute of Medical Science and Technology (SCTIMST), a National Institute of Importance under the Department of Science and Technology, has developed a new multiplex RT-PCR kit.
♦ A newly designed multiplex RT-PCR kit detects covid19 more accurately across the different mutant strains of the virus that caused the global pandemic.
♦ To help identify a variety of mutant strains, the new kit targets two SARS CoV2 genes: RdRp and ORFb-nsp14, as well as the human RNAse P gene as an internal control.
♦ The new kit uses multiplex Taqman chemistry to amplify all three genes in one step.
♦ Apart from the time needed for RNA isolation from nasopharyngeal swab samples, the amplification time for the assay is 45 minutes.
♦ If one of the confirmatory genes fails to amplify and can be labelled for sequence review, multiplexing two confirmatory genes will help shortlist potential new variants.
♦ The ICMR tested this package and discovered that it detects covid19 with 97.3 percent sensitivity and 100 percent specificity.