The Researchers at BITS Pilani, Hyderabad had come up with a high accuracy low-cost diagnostic kit to detect the Hepatitis C virus. They say this kit matches the high accuracy close to that of RT-qPCR and can be done in one hour flat as against 4-6 hours with the existing kits now.
The kit has been jointly developed with a city-based firm, Bioviz Technologies Pvt. Ltd, and can be easily adopted in the rural health sector and be used for mass screening due to the lower cost. The kit can also detect the low presence of the virus up to 100 IU/mL, the threshold value for discontinuing the anti-retroviral therapy.
The early detection of the virus with these kits can help in early-stage detection of the virus which will help the treatment through anti-retroviral drugs. Hepatitis C is a dangerous virus that causes liver cirrhosis and cancers. There are millions of asymptomatic cases across the globe.
This work has been published in the journal ‘Analyst’ (Royal Society of Chemistry, United Kingdom) Naked-eye colorimetric detection of HCV RNA mediated by a 5’ UTR-targeted antisense oligonucleotide and plasmonic gold nanoparticles – Analyst (RSC Publishing).