The Feluda test for COVID-19 could give results in less than an hour, faster than the gold standard RT-PCR tests.
Feluda, a cost-effective paper strip testing kit for COVID-19, will soon be rolled out in major cities.
The indigenously developed will be rolled out in Delhi, Bengaluru Ahmedabad, Chennai, Kolkata, Mumbai, Hyderabad, and Pune, according to media reports.
Feluda is an acronym for FNCas9 Editor-Limited Uniform Detection Assay. The name is also based on a fictional detective created by Bengali writer Satyajit Ray.
Frequently Asked Questions
A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.
There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.
Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.
The test could give results in less than an hour, faster than the gold standard RT-PCR tests. So far pricing of this COVID-19 test has not been mentioned.
The test was created the Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology (CSIR-IGIB), and will be launched by Tata Group.
Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan in October said the test has shown 96 percent sensitivity and 98 percent specificity for detecting the novel coronavirus.
The test is based on a genome editing technology CRISPR (Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats).
The test will be available in a phased manner at laboratories of Apollo Hospital and Tata Medical and Diagnostics (Tata MD), as per a report by The New Indian Express.
"The addition of Tata MD Check as part of the testing arsenal will be a boost to the ongoing efforts against this pandemic. We are happy to further the cause of Aatmanirbhar Bharat in providing the launch pad for adoption of this indigenously developed test. Individuals can download Apollo 24/7 app with the benefit of availing reports within two hours," Dr Sangita Reddy, joint managing director, Apollo Hospitals told the paper.The Feluda test was approved by the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) in September.