ICMR approves indigenous kit to detect Omicron

What is the news?

Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has approved a kit named OmiSure. It will be used to detect Omicron.

What is OmiSure?

The kit is manufactured by Tata Medical and Diagnostics.

The kit will be used to confirm Omicron in patients with its S-Gene Target Failure (SGTF) strategy.

What are S-Gene Target Failure (SGTF) cases?

The Covid-19 tests such as RT-PCR target “multiple genes” of the virus so that a broad range of variants are covered.

For example, ‘S’ Gene, ORF, ‘N’ gene, ‘E’ gene etc are viral genes that are targeted to detect COVID-19 virus.

In case of the Omicron variant, the ‘S’ gene is not getting detected in RT-PCR test due to mutation in the gene while other gene targets are getting detected. This occurrence is called ‘S’ Gene Target Failure (SGTF) positive cases. Such samples can be presumptively reported as Omicron positive.

Other News Covered in the Article

WHO to setup SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium

WHO is proposing to set up a SARS-CoV-2 genomics consortium in Southeast Asia. The consortium will help enhance genomic sequencing and surveillance.

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.

Source: This post is based on the article ICMR approves indigenous kit to detect Omicronpublished in The Hindu on 5th Jan 2022.

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