New Delhi: Union health minister Dr Harsh Vardhan announced on Sunday that the National Institute of Virology in Pune has developed India’s first indigenous anti SARS-CoV-2 antibody test kit called Kavach Elisa for detection of antibodies of coronavirus in humans.
“The technology has been transferred to Zydus and Cadila for mass-scale prodiuction,” he added.
On Twitter, Dr Harsh Vardhan announced that the test kit was validated in Mumbai and can detect antibodies in humans with high sensitivity and accuracy. The kit can be used to test 90 samples in a matter of 2.5 hours. The antibody kit is also cost effective and be rapidly used to carry out test in any level of clinical setting.
The enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) can detect IgG antibodies in blood samples. It is used for detecting HIV infections too.
It will help the government in surveillance of the number of population currrently exposed to coronavirus.
As Real Time PCR (RTPCR) tests can only detect the RNA of coronavirus, it cannot be used to check if a person had coronavirus infection in the past and recovered. However, since more than 70% cases of coronavirus are either asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic, it is important to check antibodies in the blood of the hosts.
While RT-PCR tests are used for diagnosis purpose, antibody tests like Kavach Elisa are used only to check past infection and presence of antibodies in the blood.