The Department supports R & D programmes for development of affordable new generation vaccines and diagnostics against a plethora of animal diseases. The emphasis is to suffix “C” to the R & D programmes to make way for the ‘commercialization’ of the developed leads, products and processes. A thrust in this direction is given through multi-faceted approaches such as collaborative translational research, consolidation of existing projects with potential leads and generation of network programmes around major animal disease of national importance.
A Translational Research Platform for Veterinary Biologicals (TRPVB) has been established at Tamil Nadu Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (TANUVAS), Chennai in September 2011 as a DBT- TANUVAS partnership initiative. This platform is facilitating translation research by performing product development, validation, regulatory documentation and product commercialization. It also acts as a referral center to strengthen linkages and collaboration in the areas of animal vaccine and diagnostics development, exchange of biological materials, technology assessment, training support, consultation, intellectual property development and project management. It has brought together experts with academic, industry and regulatory expertise thereby enabling bridging of the existing ‘translational disconnect’ across these three spheres (www[dot]trpvb[dot]org[dot]in).
A Brucellosis Network programme has been launched to deal with the zoonotic and hitherto under-recognized problem of brucellosis in man and animals. The objective of this collaborative programme is to address the issue of Brucellosis in a multi-faceted way involving the genomic characterization including whole genome sequencing of the causative organism, point-of care diagnostic kits, recombinant Omp25 based vaccine for humans, genetically engineered live vaccine for animals and setting up of a National Brucella Repository. To monitor the overall activities of this network program, a DBT- Project Monitoring Unit has been established at the Project Directorate on Animal Disease Monitoring and Surveillance (PD-ADMAS), Bengaluru.
A Classical Swine Fever (CSF) Network project has also been launched by DBT to setup a national repository, regional CSF referral laboratories, to study molecular epidemiology, to establish a CSF database and to develop novel diagnostics and vaccines for controlling this economically important disease. Under this network one national and five referral laboratories have already been established.
In addition to the above major initiatives, several open ended programmes on vaccine and diagnostics development are also underway. Some of the diseases targeted include Anthrax, Bovine Tuberculosis, Bovine Herpes virus, Mastitis, Theileriosis, Leptospirosis, Peste des petis ruminats, Canine Parvovirus, Canine distemper, Canine coronavirus, Canine adenovirus, Salmonellosis, Newcastle disease, Infectious bursal disease and Laboratory animal disease monitoring etc. (This list is not exhaustive).
Furthermore, the Department proposes to establish five translational centres for vaccines & diagnostics in Veterinary Universities through an inter-disciplinary & public-private partnership mode.
Dr. S.R. Rao
Dr Padma Singh