Researchers developing kit that will differentiate types of coronavirus infection

New Delhi (NVI): The researchers with the support of the Department of Science and Technology (DST) are developing an aptamer-based diagnostic kit for detection of SARS-Co-V2 infection and to differentiate the various types of coronavirus infection, the Ministry of Science and Technology said.

In a official statement, the ministry said, “With support from the Science and Engineering Research Board (SERB), a body of DST, the Birla Institute of Technology, Mesra, Ranchi, has initiated a research with the detection of a target protein using bioinformatics tool against which the diagnostic kit has to be developed.”

This study has taken the special domain of spike protein in consideration for the development of the diagnostic kit, it added.

The statement said that, the researchers are developing an aptamer-based diagnostic kit for detection of SARS-Co-V2 infection. Their study will first ensure the detection of corona virus infection while subsequently, the kit will also differentiate the various types of corona virus infection (SARS Co-V1, MERS) including COVID-19 infection.

The general coronavirus infection may be detected on the basis of conserved domain present in all three corona virus infection (SARS Co-V1, MERS & COVID 19) while the differential kit will be developed on the basis of combination of conserved and non-conserved domain present in SARS-CoV2 virus, SARS-CoV2 virus & MERS virus respectively, it added.

Meanwhile, the development of the diagnostic kit will be done at Birla Institute of Technology, Mesra lab while testing of kit will be conducted at Institute of Life Sciences (ILS), Bhubaneswar.

The aptamer-based technology is a relatively new technique, the statement said, adding that, it can detect a number of infections in precise and efficient manner.

Besides, it makes detection of COVID-19 infection less costly and the devices can be stored in less stringent conditions, making it more effective over conventional antibody-based detection techniques, especially for the rural and remotely located population.

Furthemore, this kit also has the advantage of detecting coronavirus infection in very less time as it will be a rapid diagnostic kit for detection based on the change in colour.

The kit will be less costly in comparison to antibody-based detection technique due to low production cost and requirement of the less stringent storage facility, the statement noted.