Kerala to produce Classical Swine Fever vaccine

The Institute of Animal Health and Veterinary Biologicals (IAH&VB) at Palode will commence bulk production of the cell culture-based Classical Swine Fever (CSF) vaccine introduced by the Indian Veterinary Research Institute (IVRI), Bareilly. The step is expected to bring relief to the pig farming industry in the State which has been grappling with CSF.

An apex centre in veterinary sciences, the IVRI has agreed to transfer the vaccine technology for ₹60 lakh. A memorandum of understanding will be inked between the two institutes, Terrence B. Remady, director, IAH&VB, said. The IAH&VB would start production once its officers were formally trained in the technology, he said.

The relevance of the new CSF vaccine is that it does not require the killing of rabbits for its production. The virus for vaccine production is cultured in pig kidney cell line. The IVRI had formally released the technology to the vaccine production industry in January 2020, according to the IAH&VB.

The pig population in Kerala currently numbers over one lakh, but the boom in this sector is also accompanied by issues related to contagious diseases, especially CSF which wreaks havoc among large herds.

Some years back, the IAH&VB had developed an attenuated lapinised vaccine to combat CSF. Though it was in high demand, the virus in the vaccine was attenuated by using adult rabbits (lapinised vaccines). The rabbits were later sacrificed to prepare the vaccine.

But only 1,000 doses of the vaccine could be produced from one adult rabbit. Moreover, the Committee for the Purpose of Control and Supervision of Experiments on Animals (CPCSEA), the regulatory body supervising the use of animals in experiments, had also imposed severe restrictions.

The new cell culture vaccine does away with the need for using rabbits and it can easily be prepared in large numbers. The IAH&VB would be able to meet the vaccine demand in Kerala as well as that of neighbouring States, Dr. Remady said.

The headline has been updated to correct an error.

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Printable version | Oct 20, 2020 6:09:58 PM |

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