India’s National Institute of Virology (NIV), Pune, has successfully developed the country’s first antibody testing kit to combat COVID-19.

The kit is called ELIZA, an acronym for enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay.

Dr. Harsh Vardhan, the health minister announced the breakthrough on Sunday.

ELISA kits are similar to rapid antibody tests, which detect antibodies in the blood to find out if an individual was infected with COVID-19 infection or not.

“National Institute of Virology, Pune, has successfully developed the 1st indigenous anti-SARS-CoV-2 human IgG ELISA test kit for antibody detection of COVID-19.

“This robust test will play a critical role in surveillance of proportion of the population exposed to SARSCoV2 infection,” tweeted Dr Vardhan.

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According to ICMR officials, ELISA kit is more reliable and cheaper than rapid antibody testing kits.

ICMR has partnered with Zydus Cadila for mass-scale production of the ELISA test kits.

After the development at ICMR-NIV, Pune, technology has been transferred for mass-scale production to Zydus Cadila, which is an innovation-driven global healthcare company.