JORHAT, Aug 30 - CSIR-North East Institute of Science and Technology at Pulibor here has started serological testing for anti-body for SARS-COV-2, which is likely to be the first in the north-eastern region.
A COVID-19 anti-body test, also known as a serology test, is a blood test that can detect if a person has anti-bodies to SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. The said tests can help identify people who may have been infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus or have recovered from the COVID-19 infection.
Speaking to The Assam Tribune, Principal Scientist and Head of Research Planning and Business Development Division CSIR-NEIST, Jatin Kalita disclosed that the initiative is a part of the all-India project named 'Phenome India - A long-term longitudinal observational cohort study of health outcomes' initiated by CSIR and led by CSIR-IGIB (Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology), New Delhi.
CSIR-NEIST is among 30 laboratories across the country and first in the North East to undertake such kind of study, Kalita said.
Kalita said that the exercise started since August 25 with collection of 450 samples of CSIR-NEIST employees and 200 samples from adjoining villages of the institute.
The principal scientist informed that the initiative has two components, with the first one being the serological testing and its analysis, while the second part was to carry out a long-term comprehensive study on proteomics and metabolomics (health parameters) of five to 10 percent of samples of CSIR-NEIST employees.
He said that samples have been collected from people aged 18 years and above who have voluntarily come forward to participate in the study. However, certain criteria of the volunteers were taken into account while collecting samples like their family history, biochemical risk status, etc.
He stated that the study also involves the use of well-designed detailed questionnaires to capture the demographic, lifestyle and clinical history, including current drug usage history.
Along with the said information, the measurement of heart rate, blood pressure, etc. and anthropometric measurements, including height, weight, hip circumference, and waist circumference too were collected, he said.
Kalita said during the initial findings it was found that 6.5 percent of the samples of the institute�s employees had anti-bodies of Covid-19, while 17.82 percent of the samples of nearby villages of CSIR-NEIST showed presence of anti-bodies.
He added that the analysis on the anti-body tests was expected to be completed and submitted to the Government by September 15 next.
Dr G Narahari Sastry, Director of CSIR-NEIST stated that the objective of the project was to build a medical cohort to give long-term perspective on the malaises that affect Indians and determine if such a databank could be used to help with predicting the onset of diabetes or cardiovascular diseases.