India launches low-cost diagnostic kit for Celiac disease

Celiac 2810New Delhi (ISJ) ? India on Tuesday (Oct. 28) commercially launched a low-cost diagnostic kit for Celiac disease, a state where absorption of food is impaired due to damaged inner lining of small intestine. The kit developed jointly by Gurgaon-based Translational Health Sciences and Technology Institute, International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology and All India Institute of Medical Sciences, was launched by Science and Technology Minister Dr. Jitendra Singh. The kit is being commercially produced and marketed by J. Mitra and Co.

Celiac is a relatively new disease in India and majority of the cases go undiagnosed. A recent study shows, prevalence of Celiac is less than one per cent of the population in north India. Globally, 2.2 million children under the age of five were affected by Celiac disease and 42,000 died, according to a 2011 data.

Launching the kit Dr. Jitendra Singh said, he would recommend to make it available to all public health facilities across the country.

In Celiac disease, the inner lining of the small intestine, where food is digested and absorbed, gets damaged. Impairment of digestion leads to weight loss, prolonged diarrhoea, abdominal fullness, bulky stools and anaemia. Since no definite cure is available, correct diagnosis is essential as patients of Celiac disease are required to adhere to gluten-free diet to prevent long-term complications like diabetes, thyroiditis, osteoporosis and malignancies.

Celiac disease is occurred primarily due to genetic characteristics. A secondary factor is ingestion of gluten, a protein present in cereals like wheat and barley. When people with genetic susceptibility consumes food/food products containing gluten, the immune system of the body gets activated, leading to damage to the inner lining of the small intestine. The disease continues till the person keeps taking such foods or food products.

Currently two types of diagnostic kits are available ? Elisa-based test, which requires processing of blood in a sophisticated laboratory. This is followed by confirmatory intestinal biopsies. These tests are not affordable and available in most hospitals as it is imported.

The diagnostic kit developed by Indian laboratories involve simple point of care (PoC) test that give rapid results and shorten the time between diagnosis and therapeutic intervention. The kit named ?Celiac Microlisa? is based on indirect Elisa and the test results are available in 20 minutes.

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