A step forward for Ganashyastya test kit validation
Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University has formed a committee that will supervise the validation of the home-grown rapid test kit developed by Gonoshasthaya Kendra.
"We had a meeting with the scientists of Gonoshasthaya Kendra. We have formed a six-member committee. They will prepare a protocol based on the discussions with Gonoshasthaya," said BSMMU Vice-Chancellor Prof Kanak Kanti Barua.
Once the committee finalises the protocol, it will have to be approved by the BSMMU Institutional Review Board before the validation of the kit -- Rapid Dot Blot -- begins, he told The Daily Star. The committee will decide on the sample size of those who will be tested, the VC added.
Gonoshasthaya Kendra Founder and Trustee Dr Zafrullah Chowdhury said it's good that the BSMMU has promptly taken action to conduct the validation of the test kit.
"Our scientists will meet again with the BSMMU committee tomorrow [May 3] and finalise the protocol," he said. Dr Zafrullah said the validation will require a sample size of 250 patients. And, at least 110 of them should be Covid-19 positive and the others to be unknown cases. BSMMU already has their patients and it can conduct the tests quickly.
"We said as this is an emergency period and the number of Covid-19 patients are rising every day, it would be better if BSMMU could conduct the validation in seven days," the veteran physician said.
The Directorate General of Drug Administration permitted Gonoshasthaya Kendra to go for validation at the BSMMU on April 30. The Rapid Dot Blot is a combination of antibody and antigen test conducted with blood samples.
Zafrullah said its accuracy level is more than 90 percent. But that needs to be independently validated by BSMMU.
Presently, RT-PCR, which tests for Covid-19 from nose and throat fluids, is considered the gold standard. However, many countries are also using rapid test kit, which is of low cost and can be conducted on a large scale.