Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan announced ‘The Feluda paper strip test’ for Covid-19 diagnosis will be made available in the next few weeks.
The test, developed by Tata group and the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) using the gene editing technology, has been approved by the Drug Controller General of India for a commercial launch. The kit has already been validated by the Department of Atomic Energy’s National Centre for Biological Sciences, Bangalore.
This test uses an indigenously developed, cutting-edge CRISPR technology for detection of the genomic sequence of SARS-CoV-2 virus. The Tata CRISPR test achieves accuracy levels of traditional RT-PCR tests with quicker turnaround time, less expensive equipment and better ease of use.
The Tata CRISPR test is the world’s first diagnostic test to deploy a specially adapted Cas9 protein to successfully detect the virus causing Covid-19.
FELUDA, stands for the FNCAS9 Editor-Limited Uniform Detection Assay, uses an indigenously developed, cutting-edge CRISPR technology for detection of the genomic sequence of SARS-CoV-2 virus.
CRISPR is a gene editing technology and is used in correcting genetic defects and treating and preventing the spread of diseases.
Based on tests in over 2,000 patients during the trials at the Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology (IGIB) and on testing in private labs, the test showed 96% sensitivity and 98% specificity. This compares favourably to ICMR’s current acceptance criteria of RT-PCR Kit of at least 95% sensitivity and at least 99% specificity. Sensitivity is defined as the ability of a test to correctly identify individuals with the disease, while specificity is the ability of the assay to accurately identify those without the disease.