Dr Biswajit Borkakoty prepares Omicron detection kit just in two hours

by Ashis Sinha

A team of ICMR-RMRC Dibrugarh (Assam) led by Senior Scientist Dr Biswajit Borkakoty has prepared a kit that enables detection of Omicron variant within 2 hours.

“ICMR-RMRC Dibrugarh has designed and developed a hydrolysis probe-based real-time RT-PCR assay for detection of the new Omicron variant (B.1.1.529) SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) that can detect the new variant within 2 hours,” said Dr Biswajit Borkakoty, Senior Scientist, Regional Medical Research Centre, Indian Council of Medical Research (RMRC- ICMR), Dibrugarh.

In order to find the variant, it currently takes a minimum of 36 hours focused sequencing and 4-5 days for the entire genome sequencing, so this is important, he said.

“The kit is tested against specific synthetic gene fragments of Omicron variant of SARS-CoV-2 within two different highly specific unique regions of the spike protein and also reference wild type control synthetic gene fragments,” he added.

The kit is being synthesized in bulk based on ICMR-RMRC Dibrugarh’s design by a 100 per cent make in India Kolkata-based biotech company GCC biotech in PPP mode.

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