New Delhi: Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO) has developed a swine-flu diagnostic kit which will enable to detect H1N1 virus within an hour.

The kit is based on a technique called real-time loop amplification methodology (RT LAMP) which is quite economical and just costs Rs.15,00.

The technique works on the principle of Isothermal gene amplification and has been launched in the market jointly by DRDO and Hyderabad –based Ras Life sciences Pvt Ltd.

“As risk of swine-flu in India is still persistent, the new technique is believed to be very useful for future,” said Vishwa Mohan Katoch, Director General, Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).

The portable kit can also be carried to hospitals in remote areas and also at a patient’s address.

“We are planning to launch the kit in international markets as well, for which permissions are being sought,” said S. Kumar, Managing Director, Ras Lifesciences Pvt Ltd.

H1N1 virus has so far been detected in biosafety level 3 (BSL-3) labs where samples were tested with the help of RT-PCR protocol. An imported kit worth Rs.5, 000 to Rs.10, 000 is used.

However, DRDO developed similar kit for one-time usage some time ago. In India (BSL-3) labs are present in handful numbers.

JPN/Bureau