Molbio Diagnostics on Wednesday said its platform Truenat has received emergency use authorisation from DCGI for Nipah virus testing. Testing for Nipah virus can now be performed rapidly on Truenat, a real-time PCR platform, on demand, the Goa-based firm said. This will result in early and fast diagnosis for effective management of the disease and containment of the spread of Nipah virus, it added.

Nipah virus (NiV) is an emerging zoonotic disease that causes severe disease in humans. Signs and symptoms range from asymptomatic to acute respiratory infection and fatal encephalitis.

Prior to the current reported case from Kozhikode, India has reported three NiV outbreaks in the past– Siliguri in 2001 and Nadia in 2007 (West Bengal) and Kozhikode and Malappuram in Kerala in 2018.

“COVID-19 has brought out the importance of early and accurate testing for better disease management. We, at Molbio, believe that reliable point of care systems are crucial for ensuring universal access to timely testing for infectious diseases, and that is at the heart of our Truenat technology,” Molbio Diagnostics CEO Sriram Natarajan stated.

Truenat is the first platform to be authorised by the Drugs Controller General of India (DGCI) for Nipah virus testing, he added.

The R&D work on the Truenat test for Nipah virus was first started in 2018 in collaboration with the National Institute of Virology, Pune (ICMR) to enable the detection of the infectious virus during outbreak situations, the company said.

The ability to quickly deploy the platform to the point of need and the rapid testing capability make it a powerful tool in diagnosis and containment of the spread of Nipah virus, it added.

Truenat, which is a battery-operated and IoT-enabled point of care RT-PCR platform, can test for nearly 30 diseases, and results take less than an hour.

Truenat is already playing a critical role in the management of infectious diseases such as TB, COVID-19, dengue, chikungunya, hepatitis, HPV, etc. in the country.

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