April 20, 2024

Lukmaan IAS

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IIT GUWAHATI’s BREAKTHROUGH IN SWINE FEVER VACCINE TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER

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TAG: GS 3: SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

THE CONTEXT: The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Guwahati has achieved a significant milestone by successfully transferring technology for the production of India’s first recombinant virus-based vaccine for classical swine fever.

EXPLANATION:

  • This breakthrough represents a pivotal development in combating the highly contagious disease affecting pigs and wild boars.
  • IIT Guwahati has facilitated the transfer of pioneering vaccine technology to BioMed Pvt Ltd, a manufacturing company specializing in high-quality vaccines.
  • This transfer enables commercial production of the vaccine, offering a swift and cost-effective solution for pig vaccination.
  • The vaccine developed at IIT Guwahati utilizes a recombinant virus-based platform, which is a novel approach in India for combating classical swine fever.
  • This method represents a significant advancement in vaccine technology, ensuring effective protection against the disease.
  • The development of this vaccine is the result of collaborative efforts between researchers from the Department of Biosciences and Bioengineering at IIT Guwahati and Assam Agricultural University in Guwahati.
  • The collaboration underscores the importance of interdisciplinary cooperation in scientific breakthroughs.
  • The successful transfer of vaccine technology to a leading company in the veterinary vaccine sector marks a remarkable achievement.
  • It demonstrates the potential for academia-industry collaboration in addressing pressing health challenges and translating research into practical solutions.

Swine Fever:

  • Classical swine fever is a highly infectious and often fatal viral disease of swine.
  • Swine infected with classical swine fever virus usually develop fever, hemorrhages, lethargy, yellowish diarrhea, vomiting, and purple skin discoloration of the ears, lower abdomen, and legs.
  • Neurological signs, reproductive failures, and abortion may also be observed.
  • Diagnostic tests for the disease include RT-qPCR assay, virus isolation, immunofluorescence assay, and detection of antibodies by serological tests such as ELISA and virus neutralization.
  • Swine fever poses a significant threat in various states across India, particularly in the northeastern states, Punjab, Haryana, Bihar, Gujarat, and Kerala.
  • The availability of an indigenous vaccine holds promise for controlling the spread of the disease and safeguarding the livestock industry.

Innovative Methodology:

  • The vaccine development process involves harnessing a reverse genetic platform, a method widely used for developing vaccines against influenza.
  • This innovative approach leverages the Newcastle disease virus (NDV) as a carrier for essential proteins of the classical swine fever virus, ensuring efficient immunity development.
  • Reverse genetics offers several advantages, including speed and cost-effectiveness, in vaccine development.
  • By utilizing NDV as a carrier, researchers can expedite the vaccine production process while maintaining affordability, crucial for widespread adoption and implementation.

Future Prospects and Regulatory Process:

  • Currently, the vaccine is undergoing the process of filing test and analysis licenses. Once approved, it will be ready for commercial distribution, marking a significant step forward in disease prevention and control strategies for the livestock industry.

SOURCE: https://www.livemint.com/science/news/iit-guwahati-completes-technology-transfer-for-first-ever-india-made-swine-fever-vaccine/amp-11711462237772.html

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