Pune: India will soon have an
indigenous low-cost H1N1 detection kit. Scientists at the Defence
Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) here are developing
this diagnostic tool that promises to be cost-effective and
quicker in giving results. The kit will be available in the market
in a couple of months.
At present, each test on the kits approved by the Centres for
Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) costs around Rs 10,000 to Rs
12,000. “The tests on the DRDO kit would cost just around Rs 2,000
to Rs 3,000,” said R B Srivastava, director (life sciences), DRDO.
Cheaper HIN1 flu test kit soon
“Moreover, this indigenous kit will take just four to six hours to
get the test results, whereas other kits take around 24 to 48
Srivastava told TOI that work on developing the kits began
four months ago. “The trials on the prototypes are under way at
the high containment DRDO lab in Gwalior. The trials have shown
good results,” he said.
The kit uses the real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR)
technique with some modifications, Srivastava said. “The kit has
to get the approval of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).
Our aim is to get an effective testing kit available as early as
possible,” Srivastava added.
Once the model is ready, the technology will be passed on to a
company. The kit will be produced in bulk to reduce costs, said
India has been importing the CDCapproved kits and reagents for
detection of H1N1 from the US.
Meanwhile, the DRDO is also planning to customise the masks it
developed for biological and chemical warfare as a protection
against H1N1 flu.