IIT-Delhi Introduces RT-PCR Kit That Detects Omicron Variant in 90 Min

New Delhi, 14th December, 2021: The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi researchers have developed an RT-PCR based test for the specific detection of the Omicron variant within 90 minutes. The test is based on identifying specific mutations, which are present in the Omicron variant and absent in other currently circulating variants of COVID-19.

Omicron 2021: Details

  • By using this RT-PCR based test, it will be possible to test for the presence of the Omicron variant within 90 minutes.Β 
  • Currently, the identification or screening for omicron is done worldwide using next-generation sequencing based methods, which require over 3 days.Β 
  • The new kit can be used as a rapid screening test for the identification and isolation of individuals with the Omicron variants.Β 

Omicron 2021 – Another RT-PCR Kit

Indian Council of Medical Research-Regional Medical Research Centres (ICMR-RMRC), Dibrugarh, Assam has also designed and developed a hydrolysis probe-based real-time RT-PCR test for detection of the new Omicron variant. This test can detect the omicron variant in 2 hours.

Omicron 2021 – Current Statistics

Till now, India has reported 40 cases of Omicron. Maharashtra has recently reported two more cases of Omicron variant of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-)2, one from Latur and the other from Pune. Now, the tally of patients infected with the newly discovered variant of the coronavirus rose to 20 in the state.

About Omicron 2021

Omicron is a variant of the SARS-CoV-2. It was first reported to the World Health Organization (WHO) from South Africa on 24th November 2021. On 26th November 2021, the WHO declared it as a variant of concern and named it after omicron, the fifteenth letter in the Greek alphabet.Β 

The variant has an unusually large number of mutations. Several such mutations significantly affect the spike protein targeted by most COVID-19 vaccines at the time of discovering the Omicron variant.Β 

This level of variation has led to concerns regarding its transmissibility, immune system disturbance, and vaccine resistance. As a result, the variant has been declared as being “of concern”. Moreover, travel restrictions have been introduced by several countries in an attempt to slow its international spread.

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