January 20, 2022 10:32 (IST)
Follow us:
facebook-white sharing button
twitter-white sharing button
instagram-white sharing button
youtube-white sharing button
Maharashtra local body polls: Sena-NCP-Congress alliance wins but BJP emerges as single largest party | In a big boost, Covaxin, Covishield get full market authorisation | Bengal cops suspended for allegedly robbing money, ornaments from businessman's house during raid | Unvaccinated Czech folk singer dies of COVID-19 after deliberately contracting virus | Assam to set up wildlife safari cum open zoo at a cost of Rs 214.54 crore: Himanta Biswa Sarma
Scientists propose cheaper mass PCR testing method sans kits: COVID Research COVID-19 | PCR Test
Image credit: Unsplash

Scientists propose cheaper mass PCR testing method sans kits: COVID Research

India Blooms News Service | @indiablooms | 02 Dec 2021, 07:56 pm

London/UNI/Sputnik: A group of Singaporean and British scientists has proposed a scalable cheap alternative to the existing PCR testing method using kits to increase the availability of timely and uninterrupted COVID testing in lower income countries, according to research published in the journal 'Nature'.

The aim of the research was to demonstrate how a kit-less method of PCR testing can be widely applied using hospital and laboratory infrastructure already in place.

Its adoption will ensure that mass testing in future epidemics will not be compromised by the unavailability or unaffordability of RNA extraction kits needed for tests, which are currently patented and supplied by a handful of major manufacturers.

To avoid shortages of PCR testing kits, essential for diagnosing viral diseases such as the arboviruses, hepatitis viruses and HIV, the technology has to be readily available to generic suppliers and local laboratories.

"Here we demonstrate that a well-established, TRIzol-based, non-kit RNA extraction protocol can be adapted into a semi-automated, high-throughput format using equipment readily available in research and hospital laboratories," the research said.

Biological samples are placed into a PCR plate, where the RNA is automatically extracted by liquid handlers using a modified TRIzol-based method, after which a standard qPCR-based detection is used to analyze the virus. A complete run of 96 samples takes four hours, according to the study.

The cost per one sample was estimated at a range from $5 to $16, depending on local prices for materials.

In comparison, the majority of coronavirus tests currently available on the market can cost from $50 to over $1,000, depending on the country and the time until results are ready.