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Saline gargle RT-PCR test tech transferred to MSME Ministry

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    Science & Technology
  • Published
    14th Sep, 2021


The National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI) has transferred the know-how of the indigenously-developed saline gargle RT-PCR technique, used for testing Covid-19 samples, to the Union Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSME) Ministry on a non-exclusive basis.

About the technology

  • The technology is developed by Nagpur-headquartered NEERI.
  • It is simple, fast, cost-effective, patient-friendly and comfortable technique.
  • It provides instant results and is well-suited for rural and tribal areas, given the minimal infrastructure requirements.

NEERI is an institute under the Centre-funded Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR).

The method

  • The method is non-invasive and simple, and the patient himself/herself can collect the sample.
  • Collection methods like nasopharyngeal and oropharyngeal swab collection require technical expertise, and are also time-consuming.
  • In contrast, the saline gargle RT-PCR method uses a simple collection tube filled with saline solution. The patient gargles with the solution and rinses it inside the tube.
  • This sample in the collection tube is taken to the laboratory where it is kept at room temperature, in a special buffer solution prepared by the NEERI.
  • An RNA template is produced when this solution is heated, which is further processed for Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR).
  • The method is environment-friendly as well, since waste generation is minimised.

Significance of the transfer

  • Availability: It will enable the innovation to be commercialised and licensed to all capable parties, including private, government and various rural development schemes and departments.
  • Fight against pandemic: This would result in faster and more citizen-friendly testing and will strengthen our fight against the pandemic.