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‘vaccine to control classical swine fever’

  • Category
    Science & Technology
  • Published
    13th Feb, 2020

Context

In order to check fall in pig population in India, the government unveiled a new indigenously developed vaccine for controlling classical swine fever, which is a highly contagious fatal pig disease. 

About Classical Swine Fever:

  • Classical swine fever (CSF), also known as hog cholera, is a contagious viral disease of domestic and wild swine.
  • It is caused by a virus of the genus Pestivirus of the family Flaviviridae, which is closely related to the viruses that cause bovine viral diarrhoea in cattle and border disease in sheep.
  • Clinical signs: The virus that causes CSF varies in virulence. Some strains are highly virulent and cause acute (i.e. rapid) serious disease. Some strains are of low virulence and cause chronic (i.e. long-lasting) disease, others are intermediate causing sub-acute disease.
  • There is only one serotype of CSF virus (CSFV).
  • CSF is a disease listed by the OIE World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) Terrestrial Animal Health Code and must be reported to the OIE (OIE Terrestrial Animal Health Code).

The new vaccine:

  • Developer: The new vaccine is developed by Uttar Pradesh-based ICAR-Indian Veterinary Research Institute (IVRI).
  • Cost: It will be much cheaper than the existing one. It would cost only Rs 2 per dose compared to the current vaccine's rate of Rs 15-20 per dose and imported Korean vaccine rate of Rs 30 per dose.
  • The new vaccine has been developed using Indian strain and lakhs of doses can be produced very easily using the cell culture technology.
  • The new vaccine is safe and potent. It does not revert to virulence and provide protective immunity from day 14 of the vaccination till 24 months studied so far.

The need:

  • Currently, India does not have enough vaccine for controlling classical swine fever (CSF), which has led to high mortality with annual loss of about Rs 4.29 billion.
  • Against the annual requirement of 20 million doses, the availability is only 1.20 million doses, according to the IVRI.
  • Although there is no health risk to humans, it is highly transmissible among swine.
  • Since 1964 a lapinized CSF vaccine is being used in India for controlling the disease. The vaccine is produced by sacrificing large numbers of rabbits for each batch.
  • To do away sacrificing of rabbits and increase the productivity, IVRI later developed a cell-cultured vaccine using foreign strain and commercialised it in 2016 and 2018.

Significance of the development:

  • Controlling spread: The vaccine will nip the spread of the virus at animal stage so that it does not pass on to the human population. 
  • Fulfilling requirement: This new development will help tide over the huge shortfall in vaccine requirement across the country.
  • Lower cost: CSF is one of the most common diseases affecting pigs, causing high mortality with annual loss of approximately Rs430 crore. The new vaccine will help CSF vaccination costs to come down sharply. 
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