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Military research centre makes kit that can detect Swine Flu in hours

A key military research centre has developed a kit that can detect Swine Flu virus in just a few hours.

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) said.

The kit has been developed by Gwalior-based Defence Research and Development Establishment (DRDE).

The cost of the kit is expected to be around Rs. 2,000, while the present tests cost anything between Rs. 4,500 and Rs. 10,000.

“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 IANS.

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 said.

“In case of a biological weapon being used, the first step to combat this is detection. Handy kits like these are being developed keeping that in mind,” the official said.

“Our role is to develop the technology. We have already handed it over to some interested manufacturers. It will now be up to the government to decide if it wants to use it at a larger level,” the official added.

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