NEW DELHI: As Covid-19 cases rise in the country, a research institute under the Department of Science & Technology (DST) has launched a crash course in molecular diagnosis of infectious diseases focusing on coronavirus.
Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research (JNCASR), Bengaluru, has established a state-of-the-art Covid Diagnostic Training Centre to help build capacity for the national fight against the pandemic. The course is designed to impart theoretical knowledge as well as hands-on training.
“Molecular diagnostic techniques, such as the real-time PCR, play a crucial role in the diagnosis and tracking of epidemics, including COVID-19. Unfortunately, India lacks personnel skilled in and adept at performing a real-time PCR in clinical diagnostics,” said the DST.
The primary objective of the program is to train multiple batches of trainees, 6-10 trainees per batch, in real-time PCR. The practical laboratory sessions have taught the participants the processing of infectious samples, nucleic acid extraction and preservation, real-time PCR and other molecular techniques, data analysis, and, importantly, standard operating protocols of a clinical diagnostic facility.