NIMR unveils RNA Extraction Kit for COVID-19 testing



The Nigerian Institute of Medical Research (NIMR), Yaba in Lagos, on Tuesday unveiled a COVID-19 RNA Extraction Kit developed by researchers in the institute to support the country’s fight against the pandemic.

Prof. Babatunde Salako, the Director-General of NIMR, unveiling the Kit at a news conference, said that the development would help to boost the country’s efforts against the spread of the virus.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Virus RNA Extraction Kit is used for rapid purification of viral RNA from biofluid samples such as serum, plasma and swab samples.

”Currently, we developed one of the very useful kits in the diagnosis of COVID-19, which is called the RNA Extraction Kit.

“The Kit is used all over the world and presently, it is very scarce; we don’t want Nigeria to run into any hitch in terms of COVID-19 diagnosis.

“Our researchers went back into the laboratory, and today we are presenting to the public, an RNA Extraction Kit developed through research by our researchers in NMR.

“This will bring down the cost and make it available to all laboratories that are involved in conducting COVID-19 testing in the country, ” Salako said.

He added that the Kit had been validated by the institute and the Centre for Human and Zoonotic Virology, College of Medicine, University of Lagos.

”We want to appeal to Nigerians, scientists and our leaders that innovation like this should not be allowed to die.

“The Kit has been tested in NIMR, because we are a World Health Organisation (WHO) recognised laboratory to test Kit and the Centre for Zoonotic at the University of Lagos, College of Medicine.

“We already have two validation report on this development, and we want to appeal that this Kit should be approved by the Ministry of Health and the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) for use.

”We are also available to allow them to reproduce exactly what we have done, and this is the only way we can make science to move forward,” he said.

The director-general noted that the institute had also made other contributions in the fight against the pandemic.

“Ever since the first case was recorded, we have been involved in several activities in relation to Coronavirus response in Nigeria.

“We sequence the first case of the virus in the country in conjunction with LUTH, College of Medicine; Redeemers University; Africa Excellence Laboratory and the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) to produce research reports on the sequence.

”We have worked under the Ministry of Health, working with NCDC, Lagos State Government and LUTH, and we are currently working with the University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan, Federal Medical Centre, Ebute Meta and other institutions.

“All this activities are in line to conduct research into new drugs,” he said.

Also, Dr Muinat Fowora of the Department of Molecular and Biotech in NIMR, who carried out the research work, said that the global shortage prompted the zeal to develop the Kit.

Fowora said the research work, which gulped over N2.5 million would help to scale up COVID-19 testing in the country and reduce the cost.

“”Sometime around April, there was a report of global shortage of RNA Extraction Kit; so, we already started working on it because we have the DNA version of it.

”Major things you do during pandemic is to ensure a primary prevention and the second thing is a rapid response to identify carriers of the diseases by carrying out test.

“This will go a long way to scale up testing in the country,” Fowora said.

Also, Dr Olumuyiwa Salu, from the Centre for Human and Zoonotic Virology, College of Medicine, University of Lagos, said that some badges of the Kit was evaluated at the centre.

”We receive a badge of the Kit few days ago, and we evaluated it at our end; we extracted RNA from some set of samples using the standard Qiagen and we also use Bio-tek and compared with that of NIMR Kit.

“The three extraction Kits and compared very well in terms of quantification of the RNA that was extracted.

“We went further to do detection of COVID-19 from the particular samples that were extracted, and all were positive using qiagen and bio-tek gave a positive with NIMR Kit and the negative came out negative.

“This is a preliminary reports from our end; when we are through with all the evaluations, we will send an official report to NIMR,” he said.

Edited By: Modupe Adeloye/Olagoke Olatoye (NAN)

Kemi Akintokun

Kemi Akintokun: NNN is a Nigerian online news portal that publishes breaking news in Nigeria, and across the world. Our journalists are honest, fair, accurate, thorough and courageous in gathering, reporting and interpreting news in the best interest of the public, because truth is the cornerstone of journalism and they strive diligently to ascertain the truth in every news report. Contact: editor[at] Disclaimer.

Latest News

Coronavirus – Kenya: COVID-19 update (14 January 2021) Coronavirus – South Africa: COVID-19 update (14 January 2021) Coronavirus – Zambia: COVID-19 update (14 January 2021) Coronavirus – Zimbabwe: COVID-19 Update (14th January 2021) Coronavirus – Eritrea: Announcement from the Ministry of Health (14 January 2021) Coronavirus – Rwanda: COVID-19 update (14 January 2021) Coronavirus – Nigeria: COVID-19 update (14 January 2021) Number of Central African refugees soars as violence intensifies Mounting hostilities disrupt aid delivery in the Central African Republic UN Delegation visits South West State to discuss support and collaboration in 2021 Statement attributable to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi on the situation of Eritrean refugees in Ethiopia’s Tigray region Coronavirus – Gambia: COVID-19 update (14 January 2021) South Africa‘s Workshop17 starts new year as a global awards finalist & announces plans for a new workspace concept in Joburg Senegal already produces Gas: Investors should look Onshore Ogun Govt plans to upgrade Staff Development Centre to Public Service College Concerned about reports of violence ahead of Uganda elections, Secretary-General calls on all national stakeholders to ensure polls are inclusive, peaceful Coronavirus – Rwanda: COVID-19 update (13 January 2021) Coronavirus – Nigeria: COVID-19 update (13 January 2021) OUT NOW! 2nd Edition of “Billions At Play” charts recovery path for African Oil & Gas Sector Coronavirus – Kenya: COVID-19 update (13 January 2021) WHO Eritrea supports the Ministry of Health maternity waiting homes in remote areas with essential supplies atingi eLearning platform reaches nearly 1 Million African youth in 1st year Africa COVID-19 cases top 3 million, first wave peak surpassed WHO Africa Online Press Briefing on COVID-19 in Africa The spectacular rise of Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC) under Ahmed Sultan Bin Sulayem Safeguard yourself from falling victim to online trading scams Coronavirus – Gambia: COVID-19 update (13 January 2021) WHO Africa Online Press Briefing on COVID-19 in Africa Please Help Bobi Wine and the People of Uganda Urge the International Community to Play an Active Role Calling on The Uganda Government to Hold Free and Fair Elections Without Intimidation and Violence Underhand tactics suspected in race for Confederation of African Football (CAF) presidency African Business Council applauds the start of trading on the basis of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Bank of Khyber transforms to Temenos Core and Digital Banking Platform Within the Framework of Cooperation between the Arab Republic of Egypt and the International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation: Five Ministers Witness the Signing of ITFC’s 2021 Program Totaling US$ 1.1 Billion Aimed at Providing Integrated Trade Solutions to Egypt Coronavirus – Zimbabwe: COVID-19 Update (12th January 2021) Coronavirus – Malawi: COVID-19 update (12 January 2021) Coronavirus – Uganda: COVID-19 update (12 January 2021) Switzerland and The Gambia sign cooperation agreements on migration and civil aviation Coronavirus – Ethiopia: COVID-19 update (12th January 2021) Coronavirus – Rwanda: COVID-19 update (12 January 2021) How Nigerian Entrepreneur Oke Afolabi is Accelerating Digitalization of Banks in Nigeria Coronavirus – South Africa: COVID-19 update (12 January 2021) Africa: the most ‘ready-for-circularity’ continent? Ending Violence in Mozambique Will Require United Effort; African Energy Chamber Stands Ready to Assist (By NJ Ayuk) BREAKING: WHO DG, Tedros Ghebreyesus, Ghana’s President, Akufo-Addo, Mo Ibrahim, Graca Machel, Others, Emerge Winners In The ALM Persons Of The Year 2020 Awards UN agencies and partners establish global Ebola vaccine stockpile IMF Executive Board completes first and second reviews of the Central African Republic’s arrangement under the Extended Credit Facility and approves US$ 34.4 Million disbursement Coronavirus – Nigeria: COVID-19 update (12 January 2021) Humanitarian crisis looms in Southern Madagascar as drought and pandemic double number of hungry people DHL Global Forwarding invests 126.5 million rand in new facility in South Africa H.E. Mokgweetsi Masisi, President of Botswana confirmed for Mining Indaba Virtual