Researchers at the Translational Health Science and Technology Institute (THSTI), based in Faridabad, have developed an Aptamer-linked Immobilised Sorbent Assay (ALISA) based detection assay for novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) using DNA aptamers.
DNA aptamers are small, single-strand structured DNA molecules which bind with high affinity and specificity to a particular target. In this case, the aptamer binds to the virus’ full-length spike protein, which plays a key role in binding to human cell receptors, and gains entry into cells.
The institute has already moved the technology for scale-up into Molbio Diagnostics Pvt Limited, Goa. Before releasing it for commercial use, the company will look for appropriate validation from ICMR. The business had previously developed a molecular test called TrueNat for the diagnosis of TB as well as the drug resistance Rifampicin.