A team of the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER), Berhampur won a gold medal at iGEM 2021 for the ‘Best Diagnostic Project’. International Genetically Engineered Machine(iGEM) is a non-profit organization working towards the advancement of synthetic biology.
The 15-member undergraduate students hailing from diverse disciplines of science gave an interdisciplinary touch to the project for the detection of antibiotic-resistant strains in Tuberculosis known as (MDR)-TB.
“This rapid molecular diagnostic kit can detect TB and then analyze its antibiotic resistance thus identifying if it is MDR-TB or not. We have designed our kit in such a way that it can be easily implemented in all parts of India including in remote parts with little or no advance diagnostic facilities at affordable cost,” said Prajwal Patil, a 4th-year student and also the team leader.
Detecting the MDR-TB in early stages and differentiating it from normal TB would save both times of the patient and resources of the hospital for treating TB. “These 7-8 months have been a roller coaster ride. We hope that the early and affordable detection ability of our kit will help improve the quality of life of TB patients and reduce the spread of MDR-TB by taking early measures upon detection. We thank our director, mentors and faculties for their support,” said Patel.