The entire world has been severely affected with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The severity of symptoms that occur during the COVID-19 infection can range from undetectable to life-threatening. The quick testing procedure involves antigen testing which provides the result for hundreds of samples within a short span of time. The efforts of the Government of India have been commendable for making such rapid tests accessible and available to the citizens of our country. Several innovators and entrepreneurs have been working tirelessly for developing accurate, affordable and accessible testing kits for not only providing aid to the healthcare workers in such tough times for easy detection but also for boosting the biotechnology ecosystem in India.
Under the aegis of COVID-19 Research Consortium, DBT-BIRAC supported product ‘SENSIT Rapid COVID-19 Ag kit’ has been developed by Ubio Biotechnology Systems Pvt. Ltd. for qualitative detection of SARS CoV-2 Nucleocapsid Protein with an assay time of 15 minutes. The samples are collected using nasopharyngeal swabs from the suspected individual. This ICMR approved kit is a chromatographic immunoassay, which allows the healthcare personnel to visually read the test result. The test works on the principle of sandwich immunoassay and utilizes a pair of monoclonal antibodies which when bound to COVID-19 specific antigen, result in the appearance of a coloured line. The kit exhibits sensitivity and specificity of 86% and 100%, respectively and has a shelf life of 24 months. SENSIT Rapid COVID-19 Ag Kit has been successfully commercialised.
Such quick tests allow healthcare professionals to detect infected individuals quickly, saving their time and allowing them to provide better advice and treatment to the infected individual.