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    Innovations of COVID-19 Detection Tools by IPB University

    The ongoing battle against COVID-19 is inducing researchers to come up with new innovations to increase the efficiency of the virus’ detection, including the detection of antibody titer post-exposure. Researchers of IPB University are not excluded in this effort and has successfully invented two unique innovations for this exact purpose. The innovations are called the Inventpro Reverse Transcriptase (RT) Enzyme and the IPB ELISA Kit: COVID-19 Antibody. These innovations were created with the aim of increasing awareness of vaccination against the COVID-19 virus by providing affordable methods of evaluating the vaccines’ efficacy using the antibody detection method of ELISA as well as RT-PCR.

    Before the creation of these innovations, Indonesia has depended on imports of COVID-19 detection toolkits which are relatively expensive. The IPB ELISA Kit and Inventpro RT Enzyme enable Indonesia to lower the cost of these detection tools and reach independence in the fight against the virus. The team of the IPB ELISA kit researchers were led by Dr Huda S Darusman, DVM who is the Head Researcher of IPB University’s Primate Research Center under the Institute of Research and Community Empowerment. Dr Huda explained that the detection kit was made using biological material from two virus components which are Protein N and Antigen Recombinant Protein N (nucleocapsid), as well as the RCD (Receptor-binding domain) Recombinant Protein from the SARS-COV-2 virus. The development of a COVID-19 antibody kit prototype was then carried out.

    The Inventpro RT Enzyme were created by Dr Joko Pamungkas DVM, MSc, Dr Uus Saepuloh, SSi, Mbiomed, and Dr Diah Iskandriati DVM, in partnership with PT Biomedical Tehcnology Indonesia. The product synthesizes DNA chains from RNA chains and enables researchers to use the Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) technique which multiplicate DNA to a detectable amount, also known as Reverse Transcriptase – Polymerase Chain Reaction. Both inventions would be used for patients after vaccination and post-exposure of COVID-19 to clearly evaluate the response of the patients towards the vaccine or natural exposure in Indonesia. The data collected from these detection tests could be considered in formulating a better national vaccination strategy.

    The Rector of IPB University, Prof Arif Satria, stated that with the launch of these innovations, IPB University is further expanding its efforts from the field of agriculture to the health and biomedical field. To facilitate the demands of society, the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine is transforming to become the School of Veterinary and Biomedicine. Prof Arif instated that the health of humans, animals, plants, and the environment are interconnected and cannot be separated from each other, and that this transformation is part of IPB University’s efforts to connect the health field to local resources.

    The Secretary of Indonesia’s Directorate General of Higher Education, Dr Paristiyanti Nurwardani, welcomes IPB University’s innovations and appreciates the university’s recent achievement of winning the KEDAIREKA matching fund from the Ministry of Education and Culture. KEDAIREKA funds collaboration between higher education in research and innovations with related industries. This funding would allow IPB University to expand its innovations with industry collaborations.

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