RNA extraction kit Current Affairs - 2020

Agappe Chitra Magna launched by SCTIMST to detect COVID-19

On May 20, 2020, the Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Science and Technology operating under Department of Science and Technology has launched magnetic nano particle based RNA extraction kit called “Agappe Chitra Magna”.

Highlights

The Agappe Chitra Magna kit was validated by the National Institute of Virology. The kit was developed by the SCTIMST and was transferred to Agappe Diagnostics and hence the name Agappe Chitra Magna kit.

The approval of the kit was provided by the Central Drugs Standard Control Organization (CDSCO).

About the kit

The kit uses an innovative technology of magnetic nano particles to isolate RNA. The nanoparticles are used to capture RNA from the sample of the patient. The kit enhanced detection of positive cases. This is because the magnetic nanoparticles binds to the viral RNA and when exposed to magnetic field gives concentrated RNA.

Benefits

The kit is highly affordable. The price of the kit is Rs 300 and is expected to come down to Rs 150. This will help to address the needs of India. The Government of India has estimated that the country will need around 8 lakhs kits per month for the next six months. The Agappe Diagnostics has manufacturing capacity of 3 lakh kits per month.

Feluda: COVID-19 test developed by CSIR-IGIB scientists

The IGIB (Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology) operating under CSIR (Council of Scientific and Industrial Research) have come up with a COVID-19 test called “Feluda”.

Highlights

The test has been named after a detective character in the stories of film maker Satyajit Ray. The total time taken by the test to produce results is 1 hour.

About the test

The test starts the same way as that of the Real Time Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR), that is, extraction of RNA (Ribo Nucleic Acid) and converting into deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA). The highly specific FnCAS9 and CRISPR binds to the sequence. These binding agents then give positivity or negativity results based on the presence of COVID-19.

Advantages

In RT-PCR tests, primers and probes are used to convert RNA to DNA. They amplify the presence of viral nucleic acid. However, in order to achieve this confirmation, the expensive RT-PCR machines are required. This is not so in the case of Feluda. Hence, Feluda is much cheaper and feasible.