News: Omisure — India’s first home-grown testing kit has recently received approval from the Drugs Controller General of India.

About Omisure
• Omisure is an omicron detecting RT-PCR kit developed by the Mumbai-based Tata Medical and Diagnostics Ltd (TATA MD) in partnership with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).
• It can differentiate the omicron strain of the novel coronavirus from the delta, alpha and the other variants in under four hours.It can diagnose this variant in a single step
• This new kit can identify the Omicron variant by targeting two regions of the S or the spike gene.This gene codes for the spike protein, which helps the novel coronavirus enter and infect human cells.The S, the Enveloped (E), and Nucleocapsid (N) genes are some of the targets of conventional RT-PCR tests.
• When it detects these genes, a patient sample is labelled positive. As omicron bears heavy mutations in the S gene, the RT-PCR can sometimes miss it.The absence of S gene likely indicates omicron’s presence.
• This is called S gene dropout or S gene target failure — and is one of the targets of Omisure.
• Gene sequencing reads the order of nucleotides, which are the building blocks of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) and ribonucleic acid (RNA).Despite being considered the gold standard, sequencing has a few limitations.It is slow, expensive and complicated. It is a multi-step process.
• It begins with extracting the virus’ RNA from patient samples, converting it into DNA, amplifying or multiplying it through RT-PCR before finally sending it for gene sequencing.
• This entire process can take as many as three days. 

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