Top scientist proposes mass immunisation for livestock
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Last Updated: Wednesday, February 03, 2010, 17:34
Mumbai: Mass immunisation programme for livestock coupled with thermostable animal vaccines with the help of heavy water can prevent several infections, a top veterinary scientist has said.

"We need to control viral and bacterial diseases in the livestock instead of slaughtering diseased animals. This is possible if government takes up an immunisation initiative on the lines of polio eradication programme on domestic animals including cattle which are exported. Mass immunisation programme for livestock will give us a chance to stop several infections," Dr A Samad, Director of Bombay Veterinary College, said.

Foot and mouth disease, tuberculosis and para tuberculosis are some of the important diseases that needs immediate attention, he said.

Samad, who was speaking at the National Conference on 'Non-nuclear applications of Heavy Water and Deuterium' also elaborated on the fact that till date, livestock vaccines are only in the form of injectables, but said that vaccines available for animals can be made thermostable.

"Scientists in the Bombay Veterinary College and Indian Veterinary Research Institute, Nainital have proved that animal vaccines can be made thermostable by using heavy water and could be given orally with slow drug delivery systems. The vaccines can now reach even remotest places without the cold chain," he said.

The Bombay Veterinary College has been working closely with the Heavy Water Board of the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) assessing the effect of heavy water (D2O) on thermal stability of bovine vaccines to find that the antibody titter to maintain the cold chain, the growth morphology of some bacteria and on poultry viruses.

Samad also said there is a need for a consortium so that production of large-scale thermostable vaccine, vaccine delivery system and other related issues could be resolved under one roof with various parties working together.

The Heavy Water Board (HWB) has also worked with the Indian Council of Medical Research's (ICMR) Enterovirus Research Centre (ERC) and showed that there is a definite improvement in the thermo-stability of polio vaccine, which will enable the transportation of vaccines to remote areas without the need for cold chain facility, he said.

"The vaccine could withstand exposure at 37, 42 and 45 degree centigrade for seven, four and two days respectively," Dr Jagdish M Deshpande, Director of ERC, said.

"However, difficulties were encountered in implementing further steps of large scale manufacture of heavy Water oral Polio virus (d-OPV) under Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) facilities and clinical trials," he said.

HWB Chairman and Chief Executive A L N Rao said that they were negotiating with with pharma companies on this matter.


First Published: Wednesday, February 03, 2010, 17:34

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