A patent for PGI Professor

CHANDIGARH, MARCH 3. An Associate Professor of Microbiology in the Department of Gastroenterology at the PGI here, Chetana Vaishnavi , has obtained a patent for her indigenous process which helps in detecting "Clostridium difficile'' toxin.

According to Dr. Vaishnavi, the toxin is a major pathogen identified in patients with antibiotic associated diarrhoea and colitis. The assay developed by her is a simple, rapid and cost-effective diagnostic tool for C.difficile associated infections.

In a Press note, Dr. Vaishnavi said that commercial kits are unaffordable for routine diagnostic use. The patented assay will be useful for providing diagnostic tests. "The consumption expected is vast, because a large number of patients are treated with antibiotics''. Her technique can benefit patients at an affordable price.

She disclosed that the National Research and Development Corporation, New Delhi, had encouraged and assisted her for filing the patent after her work was appreciated in the general meeting of the American Society for Microbiology in Atlanta, USA. She is the first in the PGI to obtain a patent.

She pointed out that the microbiology section of the Gastroenterology Department had done over 2,000 tests which would have cost Rs. 20 lakhs if kits were purchased from abroad.

Dr. Vaishnavi has many laurels to her credit. She is the first recipient of the prestigious ICMR Award -- Dr C.G.S. Iyer Oration award -- for her clinical and experimental research on leprosy. She has about 108 scientific publications in national and international journals of repute. She is also an elected member of the National Academy of Medical Sciences and her bio-data has been recently included in the Marquis book of Who's Who in Science and Engineering.