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Vaccine for LSD in cattle and buffalos needed Govt’s approval before commercialising

Vaccine for LSD in cattle and buffalos needed Govt's approval before commercialising

A final government approval is needed before commercialising a vaccine for Lumpy Skin Disease (LSD) in cattle and buffalos.

Hester Biosciences Limited, the only company based in India with an LSD vaccine, has already completed clinical trials.

The disease, caused by the pox virus and believed to be transmitted by blood-feeding insects, was first identified in Odisha in 2019 and has since spread to 12 states throughout India.

‘The vaccine is ready and available for commercial use and  We’ve finished our trials. Our application is currently being processed by the Government of India, and we are awaiting their no-objection certification (NOC). The vaccine is the same as that of Uttar Kashi strain of the pox virus,’ Mr. Rajiv Gandhi, the founder and Managing Director (MD) explained.

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The LSD vaccine was initially approved as a goat pox vaccine with the Uttar Kashi strain. ‘Incidentally, the same strain has been discovered to be active in cattle and to be blamed for LSD. The dosages for cattle are slightly different,’ Mr. Gandhi explained.

He went on to say that since the vaccine was labelled for goat pox, the company would need permission to repurpose it for LSD.

Last year, the National Dairy Development Board (NDDB), the apex dairy body, raised concerns about the increase of cattle maintenance costs, while ruling out any major impact on dairy output.

LSD causes chronic debility in affected animals, as well as decreased milk production, poor development, infertility, and abortion. LSD originated in Africa and is now declared an endemic in most African, West Asian, and Indian countries, as well as a few other Asian countries. Since there is currently no vaccine for the disease, vaccination is the only reliable way to contain its spread.

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The other most commonly observable symptom is skin inflammation, followed by swollen lymph nodes.  Last year, the Centre released an alert for LSD prevention and prohibited the transport of animals from contaminated areas.

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