CSIR-CCMB gets permission for Dry Swab RT-PCR Covid-19 Test

  • IASbaba
  • December 1, 2020
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CSIR-CCMB gets permission for Dry Swab RT-PCR Covid-19 Test

Part of: GS Prelims and GS-II – Health & GS-III – Sci & Tech

In news

  • Recently, the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research-Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CSIR-CCMB) has got the permission of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) to commercially use the dry swab RNA-extraction free testing method for the Covid-19.

Key takeaways

  • Dry swab method has a consistency of 96.9%.
  • Dry swabs eluted directly into a simple buffered solution can support molecular detection of SARS-CoV-2 via endpoint RT-PCR without substantially compromising sensitivity.
  • Dry swab technique does not require VTM and RNA extraction process. 
  • It can be directly used for RT-PCR testing.
  • It has the potential of bringing down the costs and time of testing by 40-50%.
  • The screening can also be enhanced several-fold with immediate effect 
  • The whole process is safer as well.
  • It is easy to implement with no requirement of new kits.
  • Existing manpower can perform this with no additional training.

Important value addition


  • Kary Mullis, the American biochemist invented the PCR technique. 
  • He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1993.
  • Under the test, copies of a segment of DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) are created using an enzyme called Polymerase.
  • The ‘chain reaction’ signifies how the DNA fragments are copied exponentially, where one is copied into two, the two are copied into four, and so on.
  • A fluorescent DNA binding dye called the “probe” is added to DNA, which shows the presence of the virus on a fluorometer.
  • Covid-19 is made of RNA (ribonucleic acid). 
  • In order to detect it, RNA is converted into DNA using a technique called reverse transcription.
  • The copies of the DNA are then made and amplified.

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