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Amid coronavirus outbreak, India develops new vaccine to control classical swine fever

By PTI
|

New Delhi, Feb 03: In order to check fall in pig population in India, the government on Monday unveiled a new indigenously developed vaccine for controlling classical swine fever, which is an highly contagious fatal pig disease.

Amid coronavirus outbreak, India develops new vaccine to control classical swine fever

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 the IVRI. Although there is no health risk to humans, 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).

He further said the vaccine will be commercialised in the next six months. Various state governments, private manufacturers and Nepal government have shown interest. The cost of new vaccine would be less, as only one dose of new vaccine is required to be given to pigs in a year, unlike two doses of the existing ones, he said.

It may be noted that since 1964 a lapinized CSF vaccine is being used in India for controlling the disease. The vaccine is produced by sacrificing large numbers of rabbits for each batch. To do away sacrificing of rabbits and increase the productivity, IVRI later developed a cell-cultured vaccine using foreign strain and commercialised it in 2016 and 2018.

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 new 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.

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