The coronavirus-detection kit developed by Gonoshasthaya Kendra has received government approval, Founder of the organization Dr Zafrullah Chowdhury told the Bangladeshi media on March 19.
Raw materials for the kit — Rapid Dot Blot – have already started arriving in Bangladesh from the UK, while some other items are being imported from China. Full scale production of the kit will begin from the end of March.
A team of Gonoshasthaya-RNA Biotech Limited, a sister concern of Gonoshasthaya Kendra, claims to have developed the kit that can detect novel coronavirus infection in 15 minutes. The kit costs Taka 200 each.
Gonoshasthaya Kendra said in a release that the standard method of diagnosis is by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (rRT-PCR) and confirmed by sequencing from a nasopharyngeal swab or sputum sample, with results within a few hours to two days.
Bangladesh has limited resources for these types of diagnostic techniques, which needs sophisticated laboratory set up and highly skilled manpower.
Another recognized diagnostic method is antibody assays (IgA, IgG and IgM immunoassay). This can also be used, using a blood serum sample, saliva and sputum, with results within a few minutes and to be confirmed by sequencing.
Rapid Dot Blot and lateral flow immunoassay are an antibody assays technique, also a timely diagnostic approach, is used to detect COVID-19 suspected or infected patients at all level of health care system.
Internationally different countries had developed rapid diagnostic kits for their own population. The major concern is that the SARS-CoV-2 had changed its gene structure 384 times since the first appearance in November 2019.
Whenever this mighty virus affected a new nation, it changes its gene structure to adopt the new environment and population. Thus, the diagnostic methods must be ethnic group specific, especially for this virus.