What is Saline Gargle RT-PCR method approved by ICMR?

01:18 PM May 29, 2021 | Team Udayavani |

Nagpur-based NEERI has developed the ‘Saline Gargle RT-PCR Method’, approved by ICMR, to detect COVID-19.


Union health minister Dr harsh Vardhan said this is a remarkable innovation, which will increase the ease and the speed of Covid-19 testing in the country.  He said, “This swab-free, non-invasive testing mechanism could prove to be a game-changer.”

It offers instant results and is well-suited for rural and tribal areas, given the minimal infrastructure requirements.

Dr Krishna Khairnar, Senior Scientist, Environmental Virology Cell, NEERI explains how to take the ‘Saline Gargle RT-PCR Test’ and get results within 3 hours


It uses a collection tube filled with saline. The person gargles the solution and rinses the mouth for 15 seconds and spits it back inside the tube. The sample is then taken to the laboratory where it is kept at room temperature, in a special buffer solution prepared by NEERI.

Then the liquid is heated up at 98 degree for six minutes to extract RNA for the RT-PCR test. The process is non-invasive and gives result within three hours.

This particular method of collecting and processing the sample enables to save on the otherwise costly infrastructural required for RNA extraction.


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