The National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI) has developed a simple and fast method of swab collection and processing for the RT-PCR coronavirus test which could be used in rural and tribal areas. The method is simple, fast, cost-effective, patient-friendly and comfortable, the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) said. Nagpur-based NEERI is a constituent laboratory of the CSIR.

What

  1. The method is non-invasive and so simple that a patient can collect the sample himself.
  2. Collection methods, like nasopharyngeal and oropharyngeal swab collection require technical expertise and they are also time-consuming.
  3. In contrast, the saline gargle RT-PCR method uses a simple collection tube filled with saline solution.
  4. 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 NEERI.
  5. An RNA template is produced when this solution is heated, which is further processed for Reverse Transcription-Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR).
  6. This particular method of collecting and processing the sample enables to save on the otherwise costly infrastructural requirement of RNA extraction. The method is environment-friendly as well, since waste generation is minimised.
  7. The Nagpur Municipal Corporation has given permission to go ahead with the method, following which testing has begun at NEERI.