Indian researchers develop test to detect Omicron variant in just 90 min

WION Web Team
New Delhi Published: Dec 13, 2021, 08:25 PM(IST)

A team of Indian researchers have developed a mechanism to detect Omicron variant in just 90 minutes (representative image). Photograph:( Reuters )

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A team of Indian researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Delhi have developed a mechanism to detect Omicron variant of Covid in just 90 minutes. The researchers have actually come up with an RT-PCR based assay for the detection of the new variant. At present, it takes over three days to detect Omicron variant worldwide

When you can get a pizza in 30 minutes why should you wait for three days to identify a case of Omicron variant.   

Well, now no one will have to as a team of Indian researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Delhi have developed a mechanism to detect Omicron variant of Covid in just 90 minutes, a report by PTI said.   

The researchers have actually come up with an RT-PCR based assay for the detection of the new variant, said officials.  

Also Read: First case of Omicron variant gets confirmed in mainland China, say reports

At present, it takes over three days to detect Omicron variant worldwide as it is done using next-generation sequencing-based methods.  

The rapid screening assay has been developed by Kusuma School of Biological Sciences of the institute. The application of the patent has also been filed. It is also in the process of holding discussions with potential industry partners.  

A senior IIT Delhi official said, "The assay is based on detecting specific mutations, which are present in the Omicron variant and absent in other currently circulating variants of SARS-CoV-2.”   

Also Read: Now, South Korea to test facial recognition tech to track Covid-19 cases

“Primer sets targeting these unique mutations in the S gene were designed for the specific amplification of either the Omicron variant or other currently circulating variants of SARS-CoV-2 and tested using real time PCR," added the official.  

"Using synthetic DNA fragments, the assays were optimised to distinguish the wild-type from the Omicron variant in a dynamic range,” the official further said.  

(With inputs from agencies) 

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