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IGIB: Come Up with the new technique for Covid-19 test

The researcher of the Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology claims to develop a new tactic for Covid-19 test which is inexpensive and faster than RT-PCR.


A paper was issued on 31 August in the peer-reviewed journal of proteins and proteomics. It was been assert by the scientist of the Institute of Genomics and  Integrative Biology (IGIB) that they have developed a new method of Covid-19 testing.

Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) test has set a benchmark for COVID-19 diagnosis but the only demerit is the wait of result that is almost 24 hours. The method is given by IGIB  based on the mass-spectrometer which give us the structural information of chemical compound and the plus point of this tactic is within 30 minutes the result will be given. RT-PCR required a biosafety lab whereas the new method can be conducted even in the public places.

Shantanu Sengupta, senior principal scientist at IGIB as he has spoken to ThePrint he mentioned, “This method requires a mass-spectrometer which is available in most of the diagnostic labs. We take a swab sample and put it directly in detergent. Further, he mentions how it is safe, accurate, inexpensive than RT-PCR also that we can take multiple samples at a time.”


Small Briefing about how the method works and its advantages.

Mass-spectrometer is used to detect peptides or chain of amino acids that form a fundamental component of cells. This method which they develop has advantages over  RT-PCR test because it does require to convert RNA to extract from the sample and perform (reverse transcription) to convert it into DNA and then amplified the testing.

“In the RT-PCR test, the RNA needs to be intact and handle very carefully. But in this method safety is not an issue as we use detergent and conduct centrifugation to digest the protein with the pepsin (an enzyme that breaks protein into peptides) can run it into mass-spectrometer and the complete process with be taking place in 30 minutes.” Dr.Sengupta.

According to the calculation of researchers, if the first sample takes 30 minutes, the second will take 33 minutes and so on, which means technically it will take over 600-700 samples per day. They claim the process to be very sensitive which means it will give the correct diagnosis for the patient. The assertion for the low cost is because of the use of pepsin which is a “cheap enzyme.”


So, we can hope that this new method has given IGIB gets a green signal by the Indian Council of Medical Research (IMCR) to boost the Covid-19 tests.

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