Swab free covid testing : Saline gargle RT-PCR

By | May 29, 2021
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The best and widely accepted method for controlling the spread of Covid-19 is to identify the infected people from population and isolate them. This requires lots of testing, which again involves many swabs, expensive reagents for RNA extraction and trained people. The swab method of collection of sample is invasive and causes discomfort to patients .

Indian council of Medical Research has recently approved a new simple, fast and patient-friendly testing kit for Covid-19 . It is a non-invasive RT-PCR kit designed by Scientists at the Nagpur-based National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI) , a CSIR lab.


The patient or person need to be tested, should gargle with saline solution and spit into a collection tube, both are provided in the kit. This eliminates use of invasive swabs and trained people for collecting sample. The collected solution after gargling can be stored at room temperature in a buffer prepared by NEERI till it reaches the lab for RT-PCR test and analysis.


Non Invasive RT-PCR kit – NEERI , Nagpur

There are several advantages with this non invasive RT-PCR kit

  1. The sample collection can be done at home , making it simple fast and cost effective.
  2. No swab and trained personal required.
  3. It saves on costly infrastructure required for RNA extraction from sample and subsequent transportation to the lab.
  4. Non invasive and patient-friendly.
  5. Environment friendly as less material is used for sample collection.
  6. Very useful for rural India.