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IIT Delhi launches new rapid test for Covid that has 98.99% accuracy

Shri Sanjay Dhotre launches the Rapid Antigen Test Kit for COVID-19 developed by IIT Delhi

A new Rapid Antigen Test kit for COVID-19 developed by IIT Delhi which can detect the coronavirus infection at an early stage with 98.99% accuracy was launched on Friday by Minister of State for Education Sanjay Dhotre.

The Rapid Antigen Test kit has been developed by the IIT Delhi researchers led by Dr. Harpal Singh, professor at the Institute’s Centre for Biomedical Engineering.

The technology and manufacturing of the test kit are 100% indigenous which will ensure easy availability.

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Prof. Harpal Singh said the test has been certified by the ICMR and found to be suitable for early Ct values (Ct values between 14 to 32) with a Sensitivity- 90%, Specificity- 100% and Accuracy- 98.99%, and certified by the ICMR. These are the one of the best available values for any such test kits.

The identification is based on the monoclonal antibodies specific for the Coronavirus antigen.

The results obtained are qualitative based and can be inferred visually with the naked eye.

A SARS-CoV-2 positive specimen produces a distinct colour band in the test region, formed by the specific antibody antigen coloured conjugate complex"(Au-SARS-CoV-2-Ab)-(SARS-CoV-2-Ag)-(SARS-CoV-2-Ab)". Absence of this coloured band in the test region suggests a negative result.

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 A coloured band always appears in the control region serving as procedural control regardless of the specimen contains SARS-CoV-2 or not.

This kit is used for in vitro qualitative detection of SARS-CoV-2 antigen. The SARS-CoV-2 Ag Rapid Test is a colloidal gold enhanced double antibody sandwich immunoassay for the qualitative determination of SARS-CoV-2 antigen in human nasal swabs, throat swabs and deep sputum samples. It is suitable for general population screening and diagnosis of COVID-19, Harpal Singh said.

The invention is directed towards an in vitro diagnostic kit for qualitative detection of SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus antigens in nasopharyngeal swab, using the rapid immune chromatographic method, he added.

Speaking on this occasion, Prof. V Ramgopal Rao, Director, IIT Delhi said, “IIT Delhi had in July 2020 launched a Rs. 399 RT PCR kit, which helped bring the RTPCR test costs to the current level. Using the technologies developed in the Institute, over 8 Million PPE kits have been supplied so far. With the launch of this Antigen based rapid test kit, we hope to make the diagnostics easy and affordable for the rural areas.”

Congratulating the IIT Delhi researchers and their manufacturing partners on the launch of the test kit, the minister said, “I am confident that this technology will revolutionize the Covid test availability in the country. I am glad to know that the kit has been developed entirely using the internal resources at IIT Delhi.”

Shri Dhotre also complimented the researchers Prof. Harpal Singh and Dr. Dinesh Kumar and thanked IIT Delhi for helping the nation in becoming Atmanirbhar in fighting the pandemic using indigenously developed technologies and made in India products.