Indian military research center has developed a kit that can detect the H1N1 virus in a matter of few hours. The deadly swine flu virus killed around 2,000 people in India in an outbreak in 2015.
While current tests to detect the swine flu virus takes two to three days, the new kit delivers results in two to three hours.
Developed by the Gwalior-based Defence Research and Development Establishment (DRDE), the kit is cost-effective and it is expected to be priced at around Rs.2,000 ($30), while the present tests can cost anything between Rs.4,500 and Rs.10,000 in the peak season.
"While conventional identification methods require time-consuming culturing and detection of anti-bodies, this kit uses a gene amplification method and is based on the principle of auto-cyclic strand displacement mechanism," said a DRDO official.
The DRDO, which leads defence research in the country, focused on developing the kit in view of possible enhanced use of chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear warfare (CBRN) in future, the official said.
"The technology has been handed over to some interested manufacturers. It will now be up to the government to decide if it wants to use it at a larger level," the official added.
Swine flu has claimed well over two thousand lives in India till March this year with the total number of cases crossing the 33,000 mark, according to the health ministry. Rajasthan and Gujarat were the worst affected states.