While current tests to detect the swine flu virus takes two to three days, the new kit delivers results in two to three hours, knowledgeable officials in the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) told reporters.

Developed by the Gwalior-based Defence Research and Development Establishment (DRDE), the kit will also be cost-effective and is expected to be priced at around Rs.2,000, while the present tests can cost anything between Rs.4,500 and Rs.10,000 in the peak season.

"While conventional identification methods require time-consuming culturing and detection of anti-bodies, this kit uses a gene amplification method and is based on the principle of auto-cyclic strand displacement mechanism," a DRDO official aware of the developments told reporters on condition of anonymity as he is not authorised to speak to the media.

The DRDO, which leads defence research in the country, focussed on developing the kit in view of possible enhanced use of chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear warfare (CBRN) in future, the official added.

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