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Current Affairs

TrueNat: Diagnostic machine for COVID-19

Date: 11 April 2020 Tags: Miscellaneous

Issue

The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has approved the use of diagnostic machines used for testing drug-resistant tuberculosis for conducting coronavirus tests.

 

Background

The ICMR has validated TruenatTM beta CoV test on TruelabTM workstation and has recommended it as a screening test. The TrueNat machines are used to test drug-resistant Tuberculosis (TB).

 

Details

  • ICMR said throat/nasal swabs will be collected in the viral transport medium (VTM) with virus lysis buffer provided along with the kit.

  • Earlier studies have shown that virus lysis buffer neutralizes Nipah and H1N1 viruses. The results of stability of viral RNA after neutralization of SARS-CoV-2 by virus lysis buffer are awaited .

  • Till such time, Truenat beta CoV test should only be performed with all biosafety precautions in BSL-2 or BSL-3 setups at laboratories.

  • Its battery-operated kits are the size of a telephone and can be taken out into the field to test as many as 15 individuals a day. They range between Rs. 6.5 lakh and Rs. 12 lakh and have received both government and ICMR approval.

  • The testing kits uses Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) technology, which uses a swab from the throat to diagnose diseases,  more accurate method when it comes to diagnosis.