Agri Business

Hester Biosciences awaits govt nod for LSD vaccine for cattle

Rutam Vora Ahmedabad | Updated on April 09, 2021

Company seeks to repurpose goat-pox vaccine for LSD

A final government nod is awaited to commercially roll out a vaccine for Lumpy Skin Disease (LSD) in cattle and buffalo.

Animal healthcare major Hester Biosciences Limited, the only company in India to have a vaccine for LSD, has already completed trials.

The disease, caused by pox virus and believed to be spreading by blood feeding insects, was reported first reported in 2019 in Odisha and spread to 12 States across India.

“The vaccine is ready. We’ve completed our trials. Right now, our application is under process with the Government of India and we are waiting for the no-objection certification from them. The vaccine is the same as that for the Uttar Kashi strain of pox virus,” Rajiv Gandhi, MD, told BusinessLine.

The vaccine for LSD was originally registered as goat pox vaccine with Uttar Kashi strain. “Incidentally, the same strain is found to be working in cattle and responsible for LSD. The dosages are little different for cattle,” said Gandhi.

He added that since the vaccine was used for goat pox under its label, the company would require an approval to repurpose it for LSD.

Apex dairy body National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) had last year expressed concerns about escalation of cost of maintenance for cattle, while it had ruled out any potential significant impact on dairy production.

LSD is characterised by chronic debility in affected animals, reduced milk production, poor growth, infertility and abortion. Originated in Africa, LSD is declared as an endemic in most African, West Asian countries and in India, besides some other Asian nations. The disease, currently, has no treatment, hence prevention by vaccination is the only effective means to control the spread.

The most common symptom is inflammation of the skin, enlarged lymph nodes among others.

Last year, Centre had issued advisory for prevention of LSD and banned the movement of animals from infected areas.

Published on April 09, 2021

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