Omisure testing Kit
- The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has approved a testing kit for detecting the Omicron variant of SARS-CoV-2.
- The kit is manufactured by Tata Medical and Diagnostics and is named OmiSure.
- OmiSure is an RT-PCR kit that will be used to confirm the Omicron variant of the Covid virus in patients with its S-Gene Target Failure (SGTF) strategy.
- The kit currently in use to detect Omicron in India has been developed by the U.S.-based scientific instrumentation company Thermo Fisher.
- It also uses the SGTF strategy to detect the variant.
- It is manufactured by Tata Medical and Diagnostics and is named OmiSure.
S-Gene Target Failure (SGTF)
- Covid-19 Tests target ""multiple genes"" of the virus so that a broad range of variants are covered.
- For example, 'S' Gene, ORF, 'N' gene, Rdrp, 'E' gene etc are viral genes that are targeted to detect COVID-19 virus, and multiple genes make up the genetic structure of SARS-Co V-2.
- In the case of the Omicron variant, the 'S' gene is not getting detected in the test due to mutation in the gene, while other gene targets such as ORF gene and N gene are getting detected.
- The occurrence is called 'S' Gene Target Failure (SGTF) positive cases.
- Such samples can be presumptively reported as Omicron positive and can be sent for fast-track genome sequencing for confirmation
- Critical for Public Health: Diagnostic services like the OmiSure test kit are critical for public health.
- During an outbreak, timely information is needed to guide and tailor public health response to stop/ curtail disease spread.
- Reducing Inaccessibility: The development of OmiSure will help in addressing inequalities in access to COVID-19 diagnostics tools in India and globally.