National Research Centre on Equines (NRCE), Hisar in Haryana and Indian Veterinary Research Institute (IVRI), Izatnagar in Uttar Pradesh have jointly developed a homologous live-attenuated Lumpy Skin Disease in vaccine named ‘Lumpi-ProVacInd’, which may help the country to contain the death of cattle.

Developed by the two institutes of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), the government plans to commercialise this vaccine at the earliest in order to control the Lumpy Skin Disease (LSD), an official statement said. The disease has already spread to six states. Rajasthan has reported 2,111 deaths of cattle, followed by Gujarat at 1,679, Punjab at 672, Himachal Pradesh at 38, Andaman and Nicobar at 29 and Uttarakhand at 26 until August 8.

The vaccine was released by Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar and Union Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying Minister Parshottam Rupala at an event in Delhi.

“Scientists were making efforts to develop this vaccine since the LSD disease was first reported in Odisha in 2019. Today, the technology has been launched and now we will move forward to ensure how this vaccine reaches farmers who have cattle,” said Rupala, who hails from Gujarat. He said it is very encouraging development as the spread of the LSD has become a serious issue.

Commercialisation of vaccines

He also said there is a protocol for the commercialisation of vaccines and the animal husbandry department will see how it can be expedited. According to him, states are currently using goat pox to control LSD, which is also effective. Tomar stressed on expanding the production capacity of this vaccine so that it reaches the ground level at the earliest to vaccinate 30 crore cattle.

The two ICAR institutes can produce 2.5 lakh dosages per month, said B N Tripathi, Deputy Director General (Animal Science). The cost of per dose is Rs 1-2 and the immunity induced by the vaccine usually persists for at least a year.

Due to its recent spread in unnatural hosts, there are growing concerns about its zoonotic implication, although confirmatory evidence of human infection is lacking, ICAR said.

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