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.

TB Machines approved by ICMR for COVID-19 testing

On April 4, 2020, the Indian Council of Medical Research approved the use of Tuberculosis machine for conducting COVID-19 tests.


Currently India is using the RT-PCR (Real time-Polymerase Chain Reaction) testing recommended by the US and approved by FDA. Along with this, the ICMR has recommended the use of Truenat test. The Truenat test is currently used to detect drug-resistant TB.

About Truenat

The Truenat is a battery-operated device that requires minimal training. The device uses chip-based technology and takes minimum of 60 minutes for a test. There are four-way truenat machines available in India. These machines are capable of running 32 to 48 samples of multiple diseases.

Current Scenario

Today there are total of 800 Truenat machines in India. OF these 457 are in Andhra Pradesh. Around 150 to 200 of these 800 machines are two way machines that are capable of processing 16 to 24 samples in an hour.

The cost of a test on Truenat is Rs 1000 to Rs 1500. Currently, India is importing kits and is not manufacturing locally.