The International Conference on Brucellosis 2016 organized by Department of Biotechnology in collaboration with Indian Council for Agriculture Research provided a technical platform for scientists and experts on the subject from all over the world.
Participants from 26 countries addressed various issues on Brucellosis in the three days deliberations. The subjects covered included Brucella pathogenesis & host pathogen interaction; human brucellosis; epidemiology and control; Brucella research in India; Canine and Wildlife Brucellosis; diagnostic methods; and vaccines & immunology.
Three new Brucella diagnostic kits were launched in the programme which was inaugurated by Hon’ble Minister of State Science & Technology and Earth Sciences Shri Y.S. Chowdary and presided over by Hon’ble Minister of State, Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Shri Sudarshan Bhagat. Launch of “Brucella Free Villages” was announced for implementation on pilot scale in 50 villages covering 10 states. Secretary, DBT Professor K VijayRaghavan was also present.
The conference was result of DBT’s network programme on Brucellosis launched in 2012 to address epidemiology, development of new generation of vaccine and diagnostics.
The countries participating in the conference included USA, Belgium, Germany, Nigeria, Argentina, Spain, Turkey, Costa Rica, Norway, Nepal, Korea, Bangladesh, Armenia, Jordan, France, Iran, Mexico, Georgia, United Kingdom, Kenya, Thailand, Sudan, Azerbaijan, Cameroon and Sri Lanka.
Emerging infectious diseases have been increasing in the recent past. Brucellosis is one such dreadful disease caused by the genus of the bacteria known as Brucella. Various species of Brucella infect cows, buffalos, sheep, goats, deer, pigs, dogs and other animals as well as humans. The disease causes economic losses of about Rs. 28000.00 Crores per year.
Humans become infected by coming in contact with animals or animal product like meat and milk contaminated with these bacteria. Dairy man, veterinarians, butchers and other animal handlers are exposed to high risk of brucellosis infection. In humans brucellosis can cause range of symptoms that are similar to the flu and may include fever, sweats, headache, back pain and physical weakness. Severe infections of the central nervous system or lining of the heart may also occur. Quite often brucellosis is diagnosed after ruling out all other fevers such as those caused by malaria, typhoid, dengue etc. Therefore, the disease is under reported and many medical professionals are not even aware of the problem.