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Major breakthrough! ICAR develops vaccine for Lumpy Skin Disease in cattle

The Centre plans to commercialise vaccine, developed by the two institutes of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), at the earliest in order to control the Lumpy Skin Disease (LSD), which has led to the death of cattle in six states.

Major breakthrough ICAR develops vaccine for Lumpy Skin Disease in cattle gcw
New Delhi, First Published Aug 10, 2022, 4:57 PM IST

In a significant development, two ICAR research institutions have created an indigenous vaccination for the cattle disease known as Lumpy Skin, which has recently spread to numerous states. To combat Lumpy Skin Disease (LSD), which has claimed the lives of cattle in six states, the Centre intends to commercialise this vaccine as soon as possible. It was developed by the two ICAR institutes.

Rajasthan recorded 2,111 cow fatalities as of August 8; Gujarat reported 1,679; Punjab reported 672; Himachal Pradesh reported 38; Andaman & Nicobar reported 29, and Uttarakhand reported 26.

A homologous live-attenuated LSD vaccine called Lumpi-ProVacInd was created by the ICAR-National Research Centre on Equines (ICAR-NRCE), Hisar (Haryana), and the ICAR-Indian Veterinary Research Institute (IVRI), Izatnagar, Uttar Pradesh. At a ceremony in the nation's capital, the new technology was unveiled by Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar and Union Fisheries, Animal Husbandry, and Dairy Minister Parshottam Rupala.

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Tomar stated during the occasion that "saving animals is our huge responsibility." He emphasised increasing this vaccine's production capacity so that it can be used to immunise 30 crore animals as soon as possible. On the sidelines,  Rupala praised the ICAR researchers for creating this locally produced vaccine, which he claimed will aid in controlling LSD.

Since the LSD sickness was first discovered in Odisha in 2019, scientists have been working to produce this vaccine. In order to make sure that this vaccination reaches farmers who have cattle, we will now go forward to guarantee that the technology has been introduced today, he added.

Rupala referred to it as a highly "encouraging" outcome given how severe of a problem the distribution of LSD has become. The animal husbandry department would look at how to speed up the process for the commercialization of vaccines, he claimed.

The minister said that states are currently employing goat pox, which is also effective, to manage this illness. The two institutions can manufacture 2.5 lakh doses per month, according to B N Tripathi, Deputy Director General (Animal Science), ICAR. He stated that the price per dosage is about Rs. 1-2 and that the immunity brought on by homologous live attenuated LSD vaccines often lasts for at least a year. From Odisha, the LSD sickness was first noted in India in 2019.

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In order to manage LSD in cattle, the Centre has also approved the use of the goatpox vaccination. But according to the ICAR, heterologous vaccinations only offer a limited level of protection and are less effective than homologous vaccines.

(With PTI inputs)

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