- Kerala has been accorded sanction by the Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR) to use Truenat test to diagnose Nipah.
- TrueNat is a portable, chip-based and battery-operated machine developed by a Goa-based company Molbio Diagnostics Private Limited. It is a cost-effective and a miniature version of the Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test.
- It was originally developed to detect Tuberculosis (TB) in one hour. The World Health Organisation has approved TrueNat for detecting TB.
- ICMR has also approved the use of TrueNat for the diagnosis of infectious diseases such as Covid and Hepatitis, among others.
TrueNat for Nipah and Biosafety levels (BSL)
- Hospitals with BSL 2 level labs can perform the TrueNat for Nipah.
- Biosafety levels (BSL) are used to identify the protective measures needed in a laboratory setting to protect workers, the environment, and the public.
- The four biosafety levels are BSL-1, BSL-2, BSL-3, and BSL-4, with BSL-4 being the highest (maximum) level of containment.
Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR)
- Mandate: It is the apex body in India for the formulation, coordination and promotion of biomedical research.
- Background: In 1911, the Government of India set up the Indian Research Fund Association (IRFA) for sponsoring and coordinating medical research in the country. It was redesignated the ICMR in 1949.
- Governance: The governing body of the council is presided over by the Union Health Minister. It is assisted in scientific and technical matters by a scientific advisory board comprising eminent experts in different biomedical disciplines.
- Funding: The ICMR is funded by the Government of India through the Department of Health Research, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
- In 2007 the organization established the Clinical Trials Registry – India, which is India’s national registry for clinical trials.