The National Science and Technology Development Agency (NSTDA) has launched a COVID-19 one-step test kit which is easy to use. The result will be known within about an hour and can be accurately read with the naked eye. It has also launched an RNA extraction kit for COVID-19 tests using domestic reagents and equipment to reduce the risk of a shortage of extraction kits during the crisis.
Mr. Narong Sirilertworakun, NSTDA Director, disclosed the successful development of the COVID-19 RNA extraction method from a simple sample and the Colorimetric RT-LAMP COVID-19 test kit which can yield a result in a single step. He demonstrated the process of COVID-19 RNA sampling and extraction and using the research team’s COVID-19 test kit.
The DNA extraction for COVID-19 detection using domestic reagents and equipment makes it possible to detect pathogens in humans, plants, and animals. It is as efficient as the imported extraction kits and cheaper. It can be used with chemicals that are available in the country and reduces the risk of a shortage of extraction kits during the epidemic. It is compatible with existing domestic disease detection equipment and enables Thailand to change from being an importer to a manufacturer of test kits.
The Colorimetric RT-LAMP COVID-19 test kit has high specificity and rapidity with up to 97 percent accuracy. The result is shown in 1.15 hours, much sooner than the imported kit. If it changes from purple to yellow, it means the result is positive. Importantly, the testing materials are 1.5 times cheaper than the imported test kits. These two inventions will help the country reduce imports of RNA extraction kits and test kits if there is another COVID-19 outbreak or proactive tests are needed. They are ready for use immediately.(NNT)