The highly anticipated foot rot vaccine, which is found in goats across India, could become a reality by the 2022 monsoon.
Sri Venkateswara Veterinary University (SVVU) in Tirupati has made progress in developing India’s first vaccine for the disease, transferring the technology to Hyderabad-based Indian Immunologicals Limited (ILL), which is currently receiving mandatory licensing from various agencies.
After the signing of an agreement last December by University Chancellor T. Madhava Rao and IIL Executive Director Anand Kumar in the presence of Vice Chancellor V. Padmanabha Reddy, the foot rot bacterial strains ‘A, B and I’ were handed over to the company for inclusion cultivation to facilitate commercial production.
Since it will be the first vaccine in India, the strains will be tested for viability. The “A” and “B” strains are also pathogenic outside of India, but “I” is mainly found in India, particularly in the southern region.
Foot rot is a contagious disease in goats and sheep characterized by exudative inflammation followed by necrosis of the epidermal tissue, causing separation of the hoof from the underlying soft tissue.
The affected animals show lameness, loss of body condition due to a decrease in nutrition, which in addition to decreased fertility leads to decreased wool and meat production.
Not only is the disease painful for the animals, it is also a nightmare for the ranchers as it causes a huge drop in the return on investment.
The university found vaccination as the only way out and undertook extensive research on the by ‘Dichelobacter nodosus‘Bacteria about six years ago and had worked out the protocol for developing the vaccine at the laboratory level.
“With the bacteria generally infested in muddy soil and spreading to the herd during the rainy season, science keeps its fingers crossed for the vaccine’s commercial availability, which is expected next in the monsoons,” said the university’s Research Director V. Eswara Prasad The Hindu.
In India, the disease is predominantly reported by Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, and Andhra Pradesh, although the first confirmed outbreak was identified in Jammu & Kashmir.
The disease affects up to 2% of the sheep population during the monsoon season, but the morbidity in the affected herd is between 10 and 20% due to severe lesions.