With swine flu cases spiraling accross the country, India on Wednesday issued the following guidelines to private laboratories for conducting H1N1 tests:
General bio-safety measures: Gloves (latex), shoe cover, head cover, goggles, triple layered mask, mask with N-95 specification, front closed full length apron, puncture resistant auto-clavable yellow coloured bio-safety bag with bio-safety symbols, hypochlorite solution.
Civil infrastructure: Separate dedicated areas for sample handling and testing.
Sample collection kit: Throat/nasal swab with synthetic cup and aluminum or plastic shaft sample collection vials or tubes (leak proof) of 1-3 ml.
Sample storage: Refrigerator (4-8 degree Celsius) for storage up to 48 hours. Deep freeze (-70 degrees C) for longer storage. Back-up sample for future testing should be kept at -700 C.
Sample transport: Absorbent cotton, tissue paper or waste newspaper for wrapping primary container. Secondary container to hold the primary container like bigger tube or sealed plastic bag. Insulated ice box with ice pack, sample proforma fastened on to the secondary container.
Sample handling and testing guidelines:
Handling: In BSL-3 bio-safety or BSL-2+ facility with BSL-3 precautions.
Testing: Real time RT-PCR (Reverse Transcription, Polymerase Chain Reaction) test, by Real Time PCR machine using validated reagents accessories and protocol as per the Centre for Disease Control (US) or World Health Organisation guidelines.