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What is the indigenously developed FELUDA test

 COVID-19 FAQS

What is the indigenously developed FELUDA test

WHAT IS THE NEW COVID-19 TEST. FELUDA?

The FNCAS9 Editor-Limited Uniform Detection Assay (FELUDA) test is a paper strip test, similar to a pregnancy test, that has recently been approved by the Drug Controller General of India for a commercial launch.

Named after Satyajit Ray's famed detective Feluda, it is India's first low-cost paper-based test.

HOW DOES THE FELUDA TEST WORK?

The test uses CRISPR-Cas technology for the detection of genes specific to SARS-CoV-2 virus. This complex is then transmitted to the paper strip, where using two lines (one control, one test) it is determined if the test sample is infected with COVID-19.


HOW IS THE SAMPLE COLLECTED ?

According to reports, the required sample is either saliva or blood, but saliva is preferred for testing as it is easy to collect.


IS IT BETTER THAN THE RT-PCR TEST?

Experts say that the test meets the accuracy levels of RT-PCR tests, considered the gold standard in the diagnosis of COVID-19, but yields faster results and works with cheaper equipment.


WHO IS MAKING THE TEST KITS?

In May, CSIR IGIB and TATA Sons signed an MoU for licensing the knowhow related to development of the kit. The MoU states that the "main advantages (of FELUDA) are its affordability, relative ease of use and non-dependency on expensive Q-PCR machines

WHAT WILL THE TEST COST?

Reports suggest that the cost of the FELUDA test, once it is commercialised, is estimated to be about 500.

The cost of the currently used RT-PCR test lies in the range of 1,600 to 2,000.


WHEN CAN WE EXPECT ITS LAUNCH?

Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan stated that the rollout of the FELUDA paper strip test is expected in the next few weeks.

He also said that tests on over 2000 patients during the trials showed that it had 96% sensitivity and 98% specificity.

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