antigen test: ICMR approves antigen test for Covid-19 to ramp up testing on a large scale

New Delhi: The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has approved an antigen test for Covid-19 that can give results in 30 minutes — a bid to ramp up testing as cases surge.

ICMR and the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) have validated the test kits of a South Korean company that will be made locally by SD Biosensor. If positive, reconfirmation with an RT-PCR test is not needed.

If negative, ICMR recommends an RTPCR test to rule out infection. There is concern that testing needs to be stepped up. “Everyone wants a test that is fast and not very expensive,” said a government official.

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150,000 RT-PCR tests are being conducted daily. Some microbiologists said accuracy could be an issue. “There is a need for a lot of viral proteins to produce a positive result,” said one microbiologist.

“However, if a sample doesn’t have enough virus or a person has a low-grade infection, the test might give a false negative result.”

A similar test for H1N1 had been rejected on these grounds. The antigen test uses a nasal swab, unlike the antibody test, which needs a blood sample.





[Source – Economic Times]

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