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Omisure Kit

  • 06 Jan 2022
  • 3 min read

Why in News

Recently, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has approved a made-in-India testing kit, named Omisure, for detecting the Omicron variant of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus.

  • The kit currently in use to detect Omicron in the country has been developed by the US-based scientific instrumentation company Thermo Fisher.
  • Further, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has proposed some measures to strengthen laboratory capacities, with the focus on addressing inequalities in access to Covid-19 diagnostics tools.

Key Points

  • About Omisure:
    • This RT-PCR kit is manufactured by Tata Medical and Diagnostics.
      • It uses S-Gene Target Failure (SGTF) strategy.
    • Currently, Omicron patients are detected only after genome sequencing.
      • However, the Omisure test kit helps to eliminate this step and detects the Omicron variant of SARS-CoV2 in the nasopharyngeal/ oropharyngeal specimens during the RT-PCR tests.
    • The Omicron variant underwent several mutations in the S-gene, the SGTF strategy checks and indicates it in patients who are detected Covid positive.
    • 'S' Gene, ORF, 'N' gene, Rdrp, 'E' gene are viral genes that are targeted to detect Covid-19 virus.
  • WHO Propositions:
    • Genomics Consortium: The WHO is proposing to set up a SARS-CoV-2 genomics consortium in Southeast Asia.
      • The consortium will help enhance genomic sequencing and surveillance to develop a robust regional system for detecting and monitoring the evolution of SARS-CoV-2 viral threats for epidemics and pandemics.
    • Genome Sequencing: WHO had called for increased genome sequencing.
      • This will also help improve the timely use of genomic data for public health decision-making and to strengthen preparedness and response to future outbreaks/ pandemics.
    • Addressing Key Barriers: Need to check key barriers like limited trained workforce and other resources for sustained long-term testing and sequencing capacities.

Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR)

  • ICMR is the apex body in India for the formulation, coordination and promotion of biomedical research.
  • It was founded in 1911 with the name of Indian Research Fund Association (IRFA) and renamed as ICMR in 1949.
  • It is funded by the Government of India through the Department of Health Research, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare.

Source: TH

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