- September 3, 2020
- Posted by: OptimizeIAS Team
- Category: DPN Topics
Subject: Science and tech
Using mass spectrometer, researchers at the Delhi-based Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology (IGIB) and the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) have been able to detect novel coronavirus with 95% sensitivity and 100% specificity with respect to RT-PCR
- The new method can directly detect the virus without amplifying the RNA for detection, as is the case with RT-PCR.
- The new method relies on detecting the presence of two peptides which are unique to SARS-CoV-2 virus and not seen in any other coronavirus or other viruses.
- Though seven peptides were found to be unique to SARS-CoV-2, only two peptides are used for quick virus detection.
- One of the peptides is the spike protein and the other is a replicase protein. The unique peptides were seen in over 54,000 genomic sequences of the SARS-CoV-2 virus deposited in a public database (GISAID)
- The mass spectrometer is expensive but it would cost only about ₹100 per test, and so cheaper than RT-PCR.
- Since it takes less than 30 minutes to detect the virus and is also highly sensitive and specific, it can be used for screening and diagnostic purposes. It can either complement RT-PCR or be used as an alternative to RT-PCR.