New Delhi: At a time when a high number of Covid-19 cases are being reported, Jamia Millia Islamia researchers have developed a unique solution to ramp up testing. With India’s first RNA extraction-free workflow called Cas13 Associated Saliva-based & Smartphone Integrated Testing (Casspit), the researchers believe reliance on RT-PCR can be reduced as the new method gives test results within an hour.
The kit, which has been developed by assistant professors Tanveer Ahmad, Mohan Joshi and Jawed Iqbal of Jamia’s Multidisciplinary Centre for Advance Research and Studies (MCARS), allows users to collect their saliva in a tube, add a chemical, heat the components and then use a paper strip to check if they are Covid-positive.
Ahmad said, “This kit is a non-invasive method of testing where one has to just collect their saliva and it does not require any expertise. While RT-PCR is considered the gold standard of testing for Covid-19, even that gives incorrect results sometimes as it involves swabbing the nostrils. MCARS researchers have been working on saliva-based testing for a few years. This method gives users an opportunity to conduct tests on their own.”