Udayavni Special

What is the ‘Feluda’ Test for Covid-19 approved by India?

Team Udayavani, Sep 21, 2020, 11:16 AM IST

The Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) has granted approval for the commercial launch of India’s first CRISPR Covid-19 test ‘Feluda’.

It was developed by a research team led by Debojyoti Chakraborty and Souvik Maiti of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and Tata Group.

Feluda is the acronym for FNCAS9 Editor Linked Uniform Detection Assay. The test has been named ‘Feluda’ a fictional private detective from West Bengal created by renowned writer and filmmaker Satyajit Ray.

The Feluda COVID-19 test mainly uses an indigenously-developed CRISPR technology for the detection of the genomic sequence of the SARS-CoV-2 virus

CRISPR is a genome editing technology to diagnose diseases. The technology has been developed by CSIR-IGIB (Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology).

The CRISPR technology can detect specific sequences of DNA within a gene and uses an enzyme functioning as molecular scissors to snip it. It also allows researchers to easily alter DNA sequences and modify gene function.

It is the world’s first diagnostic test to deploy a specially adapted Cas9 protein to successfully detect the virus causing COVID-19.

This ‘Feluda’ test could cost just about Rs 500. It can be used in a way similar to pregnancy test, it will just change colour upon detection of the virus and can be used in a simple pathological lab

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