Jakarta – BRIN Public Relations. The RT-LAMP (reverse transcription loop mediated isothermal amplification) method to detect Covid-19 is claimed to have been scientifically proven and meets applicable regulatory standards. Research on development of RT-LAMP takes up to 2 years, since the Covid-19 pandemic first hit Indonesia in early 2020. Now, RT-LAMP has obtained a regular distribution permit from the Ministry of Health.

Head of the National Research and Innovation Agency (BRIN), Laksana Tri Handoko, said, RT-LAMP is a clear proof that our researchers, with different expertise, can collaborate in producing innovations that are beneficial to society.

“My job is to facilitate our researchers so that RT-LAMP can achieve scientifically proven and meet regulatory standards,” said Handoko, at the RT-LAMP Launch, at B.J Habibie Building, Thamrin, Jakarta, Friday (21/01).

RT-LAMP is the result of collaborative research between BRIN researchers from the Chemical Research Center, the Physics Research Center, the Eijkman Molecular Biology Research Center, and the Banten Provincial Government through the Regional Health Laboratory, and a private partner – PT Biosains Medika Indonesia.

Handoko admits that our researchers have never conducted a similar study before.

“When we talk about research, 90 percent of the research is a failure. Our fellow researchers fought so hard and long to achieve this scientific and regulatory standard,” he added.

BRIN Acting Head of the Technical Science Research Organization (OR IPT), Agus Haryono said, in other countries such as the Netherlands and Spain, the RT-LAMP method is used as the golden standard which is equivalent to RT-PCR.

“Hopefully this RT-LAMP can be an alternative to the golden standard. Currently we are also developing a salivary sampling version of RT-LAMP,” he said.

Researcher from the Chemical Research Center – OR IPT BRIN, Tjandrawati Mozef, explained that RT-LAMP uses an RNA extract sample from a nasal swab that can be detected qualitatively by observing the presence of precipitation with good accuracy. However, according to her, saliva samples that have been inactivated can also be detected with this kit, as long as the sample contains viral RNA.

“So the sampling location is related to the infection process itself. Why the sample is collected from the nose, because the receptor of virus is in the upper respiratory tract. Virus first reproduces there, so acutely, the first time and place infected is inevitably in the upper tract. A few days later, after the virus multiplies and in large number, it enters the saliva which can then be transmitted, through droplets. So it really depends on the need, if you want to know early, like it or not, the sample must be collected from the nose,” she explained.

In addition to RT-LAMP Kit, BRIN is also developing a real-time turbidimeter, which is currently in the certification process. This tool can improve the performance in terms of detection because the results can be detected quantitatively.

“This tool that we made supports reagents or RT-LAMP kits that have been developed previously. The results in the form of turbidity can be seen quantitatively, in real time, and the temperature can be set. In real time we can see the results, so it is more accurate and reduces subjectivity,” explained a researcher from BRIN Physics Research Center, Agus Sukarto.

The launch of RT-LAMP was marked by the signing of a licensing agreement between BRIN Deputy for Research and Innovation Utilization and PT Biosains Medika Indonesia. The signing was carried out by BRIN Acting Deputy for Research and Innovation Utilization, Mego Pinandito and Director of PT Biosains Medika Indonesia, Rifan Ahmad (tnt).