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Experts home in on pig death factor - Lack of cell culture vaccine in region

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  • Published 25.08.11

Guwahati, Aug. 24: Non-availability of cell-cultured vaccines is resulting in pig mortality in the Northeast because of classical swine fever.

“No cell culture vaccine against classical swine fever is available commercially in the Northeast,” Dilip K. Sarma, a professor in the department of microbiology at Assam Agricultural University, said today during a two-day workshop on Classical Swine Fever in North East India: Technical, Policy and Institutional Issues and Remedial Mechanisms.

The workshop is being organised by Assam Agricultural University and the International Livestock Research Institute.

He said the annual vaccine requirement for the Northeast alone was 7.64 million doses with 30 per cent of the pig population of the country residing in the region.

Sarma said the currently used lapinised vaccine in the country has difficulties ranging from producing it in bulk doses which is not sufficient to vaccinate even 1 per cent of the pig population of the country. Low duration of immunity is another problem.

He said from 2005-09 out of 326 samples examined from classical swine fever outbreaks, 296 were found to be positive containing classical swine fever virus.

The professor said the need was for sufficient doses of effective cell culture vaccine for classical swine fever at an affordable price. This aside, there should be a vaccine production centre for pig diseases, particularly for classical swine fever, in the region preferably in Guwahati.

The strategies for control and prevention of the disease include a modern pig slaughterhouse with ante-mortem examination facilities in each of the pig producing states, blanket ban on the sale of diseased pigs for consumption, ban on sale of pigs on the road side for human consumption. Improving the disease reporting system, regular surveillance and monitoring of the disease are also required.

The workshop, which will conclude tomorrow, will finalise a collective action plan to address the technical, institutional and policy issues that constrain effective control of classical swine fever in the region with roles and responsibilities of the relevant organisations and define monitoring mechanisms.

Talks were held on the policy and operational arrangements for effective vaccination, quarantine, surveillance and disease reporting and package of practice for prevention and control of the disease at the community level.

Rameshwar Deka, special project scientist, International Livestock Research Institute, shared the findings of the participatory epidemiological study in the Northeast.

K.M. Bujarbaruah, vice-chancellor of Assam Agricultural University, and Iain Wright, regional representative of International Livestock Research Institute-Asia, also addressed the workshop.