First paper-strip test for COVID-19 by CSIR lab

Scientists have successfully developed an inexpensive, paper-strip test to detect COVID-19 within an hour and India’s urgent need for rapid-testing can be met with this kit.

The paper strip test uses of Crispr-Cas9 – a cutting-edge gene-editing tool- to test COVID-19 in the samples of suspected people. It paper-strip test targets and determines the genomic sequences of the COVID-19.

Dr. Debjyoti Chakraborty, IGIB, CSIR’s premier laboratory in New Delhi, said “We have actually been working with this tool for around 2 years. We started testing this to see whether it can help to find a solution against COVD-19, when the outbreak struck its peak in China, in late January. The research study took us around 2 months to come up with these outcomes.

The kit resembles a portable paper-strip test used to confirm pregnancy and does not need any various specific abilities or skills to carry out the testing and is reasonably less-sophisticated.

Dr. Anurag Aggarwal, Director, CSIR-IGIB said, “Most of the

rapid tests need specialized machinery, but this test can be carried out using basic devices available in every pathological lab or even Mohalla Clinics in Delhi. If the number of positive cases shoots up significantly, we would require tests that can be performed in local facilities and in that case this paper-strip test will be of great importance. To decrease the transmission rate, the tests have to be brought closer to the people and this is what the paper strip test does.”

The kit is currently been tested in a patient cohort for its accuracy and sensitivity by a team led by Dr. Souvik Maiti and Dr. Debjyoti Chakraborty. They are hoping to seek validation within a week from the regulatory body of the ICMR.

In India, currently, the real time-PCR test is being used for diagnosing COVID-19, it is costing around 4500, and on the other hand, the paper-strip test would cost less than 500. As well as it does not depend upon the expensive real time-PCR devices for RNA isolation, DNA conversion as well as amplification, which are already short in the market.

It is the first such aboriginal testing kit based upon CRISPR technology to be developed in India, while researchers in other countries including Stanford University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have been testing this technique.

Rapid-testing would certainly be the key method to ensure prompt isolation of positive cases to contain the infection from spreading out fast, as India is facing a rapid rise in the number of infections. The overall number of positive cases has crossed 1,965 across India as of 2nd April. The total death rate is 50 as of now as at least 12 more people have died due to the infection.


Author : Sruthi S


  1. Can you take my resume sir,I need a job and Iam completed
    Degree, biochemistry and biotechnology)

  2. I personally Congratulate both the young scientists of CSIR-IGIEB for their commendable work in developing dip strip immuno rapid technology for specific, economical and rapid assay for Covid-19 virulent pathogenic virus. Hope the method should be available through CSIR procedural steps in commercial application. My all appreciation to Dr Agarwal Director of Lab for freedom and support to these scientists.
    Well done keep it up. Good Luck.

  3. When can we get it for mass screening throughout India?

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