Institute Develops Pig Vaccine to Fight CSF

KERALA, INDIA - The Institute of Animal Health and Veterinary Biologicals at Palode, in the state of Kerala, has developed a vaccine for classical swine fever, a viral disease that infects pigs resulting in death.
calendar icon 10 August 2011
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Rebecca Thomas, Director of the institute, said cases of swine fever had been reported from across the State over the past four years. "In the absence of a facility to manufacture vaccine, we have had to airlift the vaccine from the Indian Veterinary Research Institute, Uttar Pradesh, and reach it to farmers here. This has led to a huge financial burden on the State and deprived farmers of timely intervention," Dr Thomas said.

Treatment for swine fever is not effective. Within three to 14 days of getting infected, pigs exhibit symptoms such as fever, watery eyes, swollen eyelids, constipation and later, diarrhoea. Blood clots occur at several places, leading to discoloration of the skin. Infected animals exhibit spasms and disorientation as the disease affects the central nervous system. Death occurs within two to three weeks or as many months, depending on the severity of infection.

Veterinary experts have advised farmers to ensure proper sterilisation of food for pigs, quarantine facility for imported animals, avoiding contact with wild pigs, and close observation of farm animals for symptoms of the disease. Unlike the swine influenza (H1N1), classical swine fever is not a zoonotic disease and hence not transmitted to humans.

With the development of the lapinised freeze-dried swine fever vaccine, the institute has become the first in South India to offer this service, according to The Hindu. The vaccine is to be administered to both piglets and older animals. The immunity lasts for one year. The vaccine has a shelf life of six months at 20 degrees centigrade.

The institute has also procured a refrigerated vehicle to take the vaccines and diagnostic kits produced by it to veterinary hospitals across the State.

Dr Thomas said the current practice of using thermocol boxes packed with gel to transport vaccines by train or courier would be abandoned with the introduction of the refrigerated van. The vehicle would be equipped with separate compartments to transport the bacterial vaccines at different temperatures. The new service would ensure the quality of the vaccines throughout their shelf life, thereby giving a boost to the prevention of animal diseases in the State, a pressnote quoting her said.

The institute also manufactures antigens and kits for diagnosis of various animal infections and nutritional supplements for poultry and livestock. A Rs.8-crore project is on the anvil to improve the facilities at the institute.

Minister for Agriculture and Animal Husbandry K.P. Mohanan is scheduled to release the vaccine at a function to be held on the institute premises on Wednesday. He will also flag off the refrigerated vehicle.

A workshop on immunisation strategy is being organised in connection with the event.

Further Reading

- Find out more information on classical swine fever by clicking here.
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