Context: An Institute based in Trivandrum, Kerala has developed a diagnostic test kit that can confirm COVID19 in 2 hours at low cost.

More about the news:

  • The kit is developed by Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology, Trivandrum. 
  • It is an institute of National Importance, of the Department of Science and Technology (DST).

About the test kit:

  • The confirmatory diagnostic test, which detects the N Gene of SARS- COV2 using reverse transcriptase loop-mediated amplification of viral nucleic acid (RT-LAMP), will be one of the world’s first few if not the first of its kinds in the world.


  • 100?curacy: 
    • The test kit is highly specific for SARS-CoV-2 N-gene and can detect two regions of the gene
    • This will ensure that the test does not fail even if one region of the viral gene undergoes mutation during its current spread. 
    • This shows that Chitra GeneLAMP- N has 100?curacy and matches with test results using RT-PCR. 
  • Less detection time: The detection time is 10 minutes, and the sample to result time (from RNA extraction in swab to RT-LAMP detection time) will be less than 2 hours.
  • Faster testing: A total of 30 samples can be tested in a single batch in a single machine allowing a large number of samples to be tested each day.
  • Much cheaper: Current PCR kits in India enable detection of E-gene for screening and RdRp gene for confirmation. Chitra GeneLAMP-N gene testing will allow confirmation in one test without the need for a screening test and at much lower costs. 

The new development has been intimated to ICMR (approval authority), for COVID-19 testing in India, following which License needs to be obtained from CDSCO for manufacture. 


Reverse transcription loop-mediated isothermal amplification (RT-LAMP):

  • It is a technique for the amplification of RNA. 
  • It is used in the detection of viruses
  • In this method, a DNA copy of the viral RNA is generated by reverse transcriptase, and then isothermal amplification is carried out to increase the amount of total DNA.

Institute of National Importance: 

  • Institute of National Importance (INI) is a status that may be conferred to a premier public higher education institution in India by an act of parliament, an institution which “serves as a pivotal player in developing highly skilled personnel within the specified region of the country/state”.