COVID-19 | National Institute of Virology, Pune develops India’s first antibody testing kit

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Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan on Sunday said that the National Institute of Virology (NIV), Pune, has successfully developed India’s first indigenous antibody testing kit – ELISA – to combat COVID-19.

The ELISA — enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay — antibody test is a kind of blood test. ELISA kits are similar to rapid antibody tests, which detect antibodies in the blood to find out if an individual was infected with COVID-19 infection or not.

“National Institute of Virology, Pune, has successfully developed the 1st indigenous anti-SARS-CoV-2 human IgG ELISA test kit for antibody detection of COVID-19. This robust test will play a critical role in surveillance of proportion of the population exposed to SARSCoV2 infection,” tweeted Dr Vardhan.

According to ICMR officials, ELISA kit is more reliable and cheaper than rapid antibody testing kits.

Dr Vardhan said, “The robust indigenous IgG ELISA test for antibody detection developed by ICMR-NIV, Pune will play a critical role in surveillance of proportion of the population exposed to SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus infection.”

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ICMR has partnered with Zydus Cadila for mass-scale production of the ELISA test kits. After the development at ICMR-NIV, Pune, technology has been transferred for mass-scale production to Zydus Cadila, which is an innovation-driven global healthcare company.

Zydus Cadila has proactively taken up the challenge to expedite the approvals and commercial production of the ELISA test kits so that these can be made available for the use at the earliest.

The test is named as ‘COVID KAVACH ELISA’. This is a perfect example of ‘Make in India’ in record time.

(With ANI inputs)

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