India develops new vaccine to control swine fever

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New Delhi: In order to check fall in pig population in India, the government Monday unveiled a new indigenously developed vaccine for controlling classical swine fever, which is a highly contagious fatal disease for the animal.

The new vaccine, developed by Uttar Pradesh-based ICAR-Indian Veterinary Research Institute (IVRI), will be much cheaper than the existing one. It would cost only Rs 2 per dose compared to the current vaccine’s rate of Rs 15-20 per dose and imported Korean vaccine rate of Rs 30 per dose.

Currently, India does not have enough vaccine for controlling classical swine fever (CSF), which has led to high mortality with annual loss of about Rs 4.29 billion. Against the annual requirement of 20 million doses, the availability is only 1.20 million doses, according to IVRI.

Although there is no health risk to humans through this disease, it is highly transmissible among swine.

“This CSF vaccine is much cheaper and will be a game changer. We need to speed up commercialisation,” Animal Husbandry and Dairying Department Secretary Atul Chaturvedi said after the launch.

The new vaccine has been developed using Indian strain and lakhs of doses can be produced very easily using the cell culture technology and the country’s requirement can be easily fulfilled, said Trilochan Mohapatra, Secretary to the Department of Agricultural Research and Education (DARE).

Mohapatra said the vaccine will be commercialised in the next six months. Various state governments, private manufacturers and Nepal government have shown interest in buying the product.

According to IVRI, the newly developed vaccine using Indian strain is safe and potent. It does not revert to virulence and provide protective immunity from day 14 of the vaccination till 24 months studied so far. The vaccine has been tested on around 500 pigs at multiple locations.

The vaccine has been developed by a team of six IVRI scientists consisting of Pronab Dhar, Ashok Kumar Tiwari, M Manu, Vikramaditya Upmanyu, Richa Pachauri and Raj Kumar Singh. The research body has applied for the patent for the new invention.

As per 2019 census, the country’s pig population declined to 9.06 million from 11.13 million in 2007.

PTI

 

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