Hyderabad: Mapmygenome has announced the launch of a new product Covisafe™, a collection kit for COVID diagnostic testing. CSIR-Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) validated and certified the kit to be as per protocols of the Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR).
The kit consists of a nasopharyngeal/oropharyngeal swab which, post sampling, is placed in a stabilizing solution containing RNAShield™, a proprietary US FDA approved reagent from US based Zymo Research. The solution effectively inactivates the virus (it is also bacteriostatic and fungistatic), without compromising the integrity of DNA/RNA. The reagent does not interfere with the downstream process and need not be removed from the sample, before or during RNA extraction. As per the company, recognizing the unique cultural needs of India, it privides COVID-19 reagents and collection kits that do not use bovine or swine derived ingredients.
The Covisafe kit from Mapmygenome poses significant advantages over other COVID sampling kits which use Viral Transport Media (VTM) due to the following reasons:
Since the virus is rendered ineffective right after sampling, there is minimal risk to the healthcare providers and staff after the sample is collected.
Samples collected in the Covisafekit can be transported safely at ambient temperatures and do not require cold-chain transport.
The viral samples remain stable for prolonged periods of time, and can be kept for up to 30 days at temperatures below 25°C, unlike samples collected in VTM, which need to be transported to the testing lab on the same day.
Covisafeoffers some benefits during lab processing as well. Samples collected in these kits are not vulnerable to degradation during multiple freeze-thaw cycles, unlike VTM samples. The Covisafe kit can be used directly in the lab (no preprocessing needed to remove the stabilizer reagent) and is compatible with RNA extraction kits from standard providers such as Roche, Qiagen, ThermoFisher, etc.