Diagnostic kits from NIN

Diagnostic kits from NIN
Highlights

Diagnostic kits from NIN. Diseases such as dengue, hepatitis and anaemia, continue to plague India.

Diseases such as dengue, hepatitis and anaemia, continue to plague India. The World Health Organisation (WHO) states that about a quarter of deaths of children, under the age of five, is due to diarrhoea. The WHO also estimates that 13.8 million children in India have some degree of visual loss related to Vitamin A Deficiency (VAD). Over 55 per cent of both adolescent girls and boys are anaemic in the country. All these can be attributed to poor sanitation, inadequate safe drinking water and malnutrition. City based National Institute of Nutrition (NIN) has now developed three indigenous kits for the medical fraternity to get an easier, faster, cheaper and thorough diagnosis of these fatal diseases in the country.

Three kits have been developed by the city based National Institute of Nutrition (NIN), a premier nutrition research institute working under the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR). It would offer a detailed diagnosis of killer diseases like dengue, hepatitis and anaemia. The kits would be released by Ghulam Nabi Azad, union minister for health and family welfare, on February 20, in New Delhi. Dr K Madhavan Nair and Dr V Sudershan Rao, were the scientists involved in the development of these kits.

The following are the kits developed by the NIN scientists:

PCR based food or waterborne pathogen detection kit:

Food borne diseases like diarrhoea and Hepatitis A are a major threat to the public’s health. It is now widely known that microbiological contamination of foods is a major food safety concern. At present, most of the rapid detection kits available in the market are imported and are expensive. However, the kits developed by the NIN, in collaboration with Bioserve Biotechnologies, are indigenous, less time consuming and costs only a third of the imported kits. These kits can detect organisms like — salmonella, staphylococcus aureus, listeria, vibrio cholera and vibrio parahaemolyticus.

• Dried blood spot collection kit:

Vitamin A deficiency is the most common and widespread nutritional disorder among Indian children. It plays an important role to ensure proper vision and growth. Its deficiency can cause blindness among children.

The dried blood spot collection kit is a field-friendly technology kit. It helps in carrying blood samples from remote areas to a lab for mass screening of vitamin A status, without having to maintain the cold chain during transportation of blood samples. It contains a lancet (used for finger pricking), special quality filter paper matrix on which the collected blood drop spreads uniformly and dries. This would greatly reduce the cost of blood collection, storage and transportation associated with the traditional veni-puncture method of blood collection.

• ELISA diagnostic kit:

Anaemia is the most common and widespread nutritional disorder in India. Most national surveys have shown over 60% prevalence of anaemia in the country and 40-50% have iron deficiency requiring some form of iron therapy. While anaemia control strategies are based on hemoglobin levels, a ferritin test helps to diagnose with certainty, the extent of iron deficiency in the body, thus avoiding unnecessary iron supplementation.

This kit uses the ELISA (Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay) method to screen the serum ferritin and is accurate, cost effective and convenient as compared to other technologies. Ferritin test helps to diagnose with certainty, the extent of iron deficiency in the body. The kit would assess the extent of iron load, particularly in patients suffering from Thalassemia. The kit could also be used to assess bio-available iron in foods fortified with iron.

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