As the world tries to move ahead and get the crippling economies and healthcare infrastructure back on its feet amidst COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a major paradigm shift within healthcare to innovate and implement newer technologies and strategies to help reduce/contain the damage. The clinical and public health importance has pushed healthcare and biopharma sectors to expedite development of innovative sampling kits as well as highly sensitive molecular diagnostics.
The preliminary and key stage involved in diagnosis of COVID-19 is the sample collection through Virus Transport Medium (VTM). Significance of using VTM lies in the fact that the specimen can be transported from collection site to testing centers without the suspect/patient having to be physically present at the testing center. However, as VTM tends to contain live virus (in case of positive samples), it poses threat of accidental exposure if not handled with utmost care.
An effective alternative for aforementioned concern is the use of Virus-Inactivation Medium (VIM), wherein the ingredients of the medium have ability to inactivate the virus on the spot, and also maintain molecular integrity of specimen.
Modern molecular nucleic acid (NA) tests, unlike traditional virology tests, do not require viable virus, but rather only intact nucleic acid particles of the viral genome. This has improved test performance with better turnaround time, sensitivity, specificity, precision, and reproducibility as compared to traditional tests. Majority of currently approved SARSCoV-2/COVID-19 tests in the world are molecular-based tests like RT-PCR.
Composition of Virus-Inactivation Media has been optimized in such a way that virulence of the virus is destroyed within few minutes of exposure, but integrity of nucleic acids is preserved.
Virus-Inactivation Medium is designed for inactivation of potentially infectious biological pathogens, ensuring safety during handling, transport, and processing. This media is designed considering following applications:
Safety. Risk of accidental spillage/exposure increases in case of any pandemic, where large volumes of samples are collected and transported. On-the-spot inactivation of samples minimizes such risks of accidental transmission.
Ease of handling. Due to inactivation, sample virulence is lost, and samples can be processed under Biosafety Level II.
Easy and economical transport. Samples can be stored and shipped at ambient temperature, thereby eliminating the need for cold-chain maintenance and reducing shipping/packing costs.
Storage and shelf life. The product is stable at ambient temperatures.
COVIDSafe Virus-Inactivation Medium
Sensing the need of the hour, HiMedia has introduced COVIDSafe–the Virus-Inactivation Media, based on indigenous technology, and designed for transporting potentially infectious, unprocessed nasal and throat swab samples for COVID-19 testing.
Composition of the medium has been optimized in such a way that it disrupts lipid membranes, and also destroys enzymatic proteins such as nucleases. Use of this medium enables inactivation of virulence of infectious particles at the point of collection, thereby assuring safe and risk-free handling of suspected samples.
COVIDSafe Virus-Inactivation Medium is a ready-to-use medium, and remains stable at ambient temperature for one year.