Mycobacterium tuberculosis Current Affairs - 2020

Chitra Gene LAMP-N: Diagnostic kit developed by SCTIMST, Thiruvananthapuram

The Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Science (SCTIMST), an institute of national importance developed a diagnostic kit. The kit reduces test time by two hours.

Why is it better than RT-PCR?

The cost of the kit is Rs 1000. The time taken by the kit to examine the samples is half as that of the time taken by the RT-PCR tests. Currently, India is using RT-PCR to examine COVID-19 samples. It takes 5 hours for the test to produce results. Also, the test costs Rs 4,500.

About the Kit

The kit uses RT-LAMP technique to identify the N gene of the virus. The kit has passed all validations of National Institute of Virology. The technology used in the kit was earlier applied to detect tuberculosis bacteria.


The RT-LAMP is a technique is Reverse Transcriptase Loop Mediated Isothermal Amplification technique. The technique has begun to replace RT-PCR for its rapidity, simplicity, sensitivity and specificity.

Study: Impacts of COVID-19 lowered due to BCG Vaccination

Researchers of biomedical sciences of New York Institute of Technology say that the countries such as Netherlands, Italy and United States are more severely affected than countries with BCG policies. The Bacilus Calmette-Guerin vaccine that had been administered in India to protect the children against Tuberculosis, according to the study might be a game changer.

Key Highlights of the Study

Iran, according to the study started BCG programme late in 1984, had elevated mortality rate. Brazil on the other hand that began the programme early had lower mortality rate. Around 180 countries were studied. Out of these 157 are currently using BCG programme. Several European countries that have higher mortality rates have dropped the programme between 1963 and 2010.

BCG Vaccine

The vaccine is a part of universal immunization programme. The vaccine is a live weakened form of mycobacterium bovis that causes TB in cattle. The bacteria that causes TB in humans is mycobacterium tuberculosis.

Immunization Programme

India has the highest burden of TB in the world. The BCG programme was introduced in 1948 in the country. The BCG had already proved its effectiveness against SARS infection.

India’s opinion in the study

India believes that more scientific details are required to confirm the study and create an action plan based on these findings. However, Australia has already stepped into the research on the success of BCG vaccination against COVID-19