DR&DE transfers `typhigen' technology to Kochi, Bangalore manufacturers

G. Gurumurthy

New formulations

The organisation's

`attracticide' formulation impairs the growth cycle of mosquitoes carrying the dengu and chikunguniya viruses.

DR&DE, which

has developed bio-digesters to address human wastes treatment in low temperature/high altitude zones, had recently offered to use the technology to decompose human excreta from railway compartments.

Coimbatore, Aug. 11

The Defence Research and Development Establishment (DR&DE) at Gwalior has developed rapid diagnostic kits for detection of antigens causing typhoid, dengu and malaria.

While the `typhigen' kit has been commercialised, the rapid test kit that detects the antigens against dengu and malaria are being subjected to final stages of evaluations, according to Mr K. Sekhar, Director of DR&DE.

Quick diagnosis

Mr Sekhar, who is here to attend an international conference, told

Business Line

that the rapid diagnostic `typhigen' kit using recombinant DNA technology enables direct detection of the salmonella typhi antigen in the patient's serum within one to three minutes, thus allowing early treatment of the affected persons.

Whereas the conventional diagnosis by widal test is time-consuming because the test protocol requires paired serum samples from the patient at one-week interval.

Patenting kit

DR&DE has transferred the technology for the typhigen kit to two manufacturers in Bangalore and Kochi but it is also looking at the prospects of giving the knowhow to more companies.

The organisation has also applied for international patenting of the test kit.

New `attracticide'

DR&DE, which primarily works on defensive aspects of chemical and biological weapons from the military perspective, is also looking at the opportunity for large-scale commercial application of its new `attracticide' formulation that impairs the growth cycle of mosquitoes carrying the dengu and chikunguniya viruses.

The pheromones with the `insect growth regulator' chemicals in the formulation that attract the mosquitoes to lay eggs on water bodies impede the larvae growth, thereby, eliminating disease causing mosquitoes.

The Delhi Municipal Corporation had succeeded in largely containing the dengu by using this formulation for the past three years and, according to Mr Sekhar, a US-based company has evinced interest to get its `attracticide' formulation for further commercialisation.

Its research on vector control systems has also led DR&DE to formulate dimethyl phenyl acetamide-based mosquito repellent in spray form and the non-toxic/non-irritant repellent can also serve as a room refreshner offering cover against mosquito for six to eight hours.

Bio-digesters

DR&DE, which has developed bio-digesters to address human wastes treatment in low temperature/high altitude zones, had recently offered to use the technology to decompose human excreta from railway compartments. The first such experimental use-age usage of the technology would be attempted this month-end in the Chapra Mail running between Gwalior and Kanpur for which the organisation has designed the toilet to be fitted in the rail compartment.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated August 12, 2006)
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