Top scientist proposes mass immunisation for livestock

Mass immunisation programme for livestock coupled with thermostable animal vaccines with the help of heavy water can prevent several infections.

Updated: Feb 03, 2010, 17:34 PM IST

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.