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Delhi University Develops Inexpensive Kit to Rapidly Detect Sexually Transmitted Bacteria

Delhi University has signed an agreement with the Department of Biotechnology, Union Ministry of Science and Technology, for transferring technology to develop a diagnostic kit for “inexpensive and rapid detection” of two of the most common sexually transmitted bacteria — Neisseria and Chlamydia.

The kit is developed by Daman Saluja, a professor at Dr BR Ambedkar Centre for Biomedical Research in DU, after 10 years of research, a statement from DU Registrar Alka Sharma said on Monday.

“The university has received a signing amount of Rs 5 lakh as first installment of the Rs 15 lakh and royalty offered by the industry,” the statement said.

Tests with imported kits cost between Rs 1,200 and Rs 1,500 per examination. The kit developed by the DU professor will be much cheaper.

“An estimate will be drawn by DSS Tech Private Limited. It will take at least a year for the kits to reach the market because of the regulatory norms,” Saluja said.

“Infections from Neisseria and Chlamydia are completely treatable. But the symptoms are so obscure that people do not pay attention to them. There is no proper test or diagnosis available in the country,” Saluja said. If the infection persists, the person might suffer from infertility.

Saluja said there are cases of over-treatment in some patients. “This happens because the symptoms are similar to other diseases. As a result, the bacteria develop resistance to some of the antibiotics,” she said.

“Close to 2,000 samples from hospitals were used during the research to develop the test kit. Our test will show results within three hours and any clinical laboratory can do it,” Saluja said.

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