Cabinet approves test that detects infected blood faster
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The blood banks in city will soon have an advanced testing mechanism that helps in faster detection of infectious diseases, which can be transmitted through blood transfusion.
The proposal has been approved by Delhi Cabinet.
The Nucleic Acid Amplification Tests (NAT), screens the donated blood for viral DNA or RNA, against the existing serological ELISA tests, which can only identify anti-bodies produced against the viruses.
Depending on the production of anti-bodies, the detection through ELISA test can be slow.
According to a statement issued by Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, the new tests will help minimise the risk of transmission of infections through blood transfusion.
A senior Health department official said: "The existing tests cannot detect the microbes during the "window period" ó when viruses are latent. If the donor blood is in the window period, the donated blood may not test positive, despite the presence of the virus."
The window period for HIV, Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C viruses in the donated blood could be 21, 60 and 75 days, respectively. The new test will make these diseases detectable within 11, 20 and 15 days, respectively.
According to a Delhi government release, the project under which all major hospitals in the government sector will have this new method, has been cleared after an amendment in Section 12 of the Delhi Professional Colleges or Institutions Act, 2007.
The new tests will be started at Lok Nayak Hospital and GTB Hospital, and later extended to other hospitals.
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