Apollo Gleneagles introduces NAT Lab

Kolkata, Dec 18 : Apollo Gleneagles Hospitals on Wednesday announced a significant extension of the company's central laboratory capabilities with the opening of a state-of-the-art Nucleic acid Amplification Testing (NAT) laboratory.

The addition of this laboratory testing service enables Apollo to provide in-region, near real-time NAT testing required to ensure the safest donor blood screening to reduce the risk of HIV, HCV, and HBV transmission through blood.

A nucleic acid test, often called a NAT, (or nucleic acid amplification test - NAAT) is a molecular technique used to detect a virus or a bacterium.

These tests were developed to shorten the window period. NAT Technology is the safest and latest mode of blood screening technology.

It is a recently developed technology that allows detection of very small amounts of genetic material (DNA or RNA) by a process of massive copying (amplification) of a gene fragment.

It is a direct test where it actually detects the viral nucleic acid (RNA/DNA).

The tests were developed to shorten the window period of detection of all these viruses from the prevalent Serological (ELISA) tests. The NAT method is more sensitive than conventional tests.

"Since 2003, our advanced lab services and blood bank has provided our patients accurate and efficient services. With the increasing number of tests and blood screening in the city, the addition of NAT testing lab completes the 360° services required to support critical viral infectious disease studies across the region", said Dr Rupali Basu, CEO, Apollo Gleneagles Hospitals.

Dr Sudipta Sekhar Das, Consultant, Transfusion Medicine, Apollo Gleneagles Hospitals, Kolkata added, "We believe this will be a significant enhancement to the safety of the blood screening laboratories. NAT reduces the detection time, or the 'window period' by about 50 percent for HIV and by 70 percent or more for HCV".

--IBNS (Posted on 18-12-2013)

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