Adding another feather to its cap, Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (GADVASU) has bagged two projects to develop a stronger vaccine for animals against the highly contagious Brucellosis and to research the disease's transmission from animals to humans.
The School of Public Health and Zoonosis has been assigned the projects by union government's department of biotechnology (DBT), Network Project on Brucellosis, in which the government has involved all stakeholders to fight the deadly disease.
“Keeping in view the high presence of the disease among animals in Punjab and the kind of expertise the university here has, GADVASU has been awarded two key roles under this project.
First, to develop the modified vaccines for the disease, and other, to carry out a detailed study over how the ailments can be stopped from transferring from animals to humans,” Dr SR Rao, advisor, DBT, Government of India, told Hindustan Times.
As per Dr NK Ganguly, former director-general, Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), who is looking after the medicinal aspect of the disease and how it transfers from animals to humans, stated that Brucellosis got transmitted to humans whenever they came in contact with the infected animals.
“In Punjab, a number of cases have surfaced where veterinary doctors or caretakers of animals have been infected by the disease that travelled from the animals,” he said.
“GADVASU will also carry out a research over the symptoms and the medicines to be developed for this need,” he said.
Both experts were in the varsity on Wednesday to chair the first review meet of the Network Project that started a few months back.
Dr VK Taneja, vice-chancellor, GADVASU, said the department had already started work over the projects that had to be completed in four years.
“Among all 17 stakeholders involved in this project, GADVASU is the only unit to be awarded such an important task for two different aspects of country's fight against Brucellosis,” the vice-chancellor stated.
“The existing vaccines have not proved to be effective to curb the illness. Therefore the union government has funded Rs. 16 crore to develop new vaccines. The study of foreign countries that have successfully tackled with the diseases is also being taken into consideration,” Ganguly said.
Dr JPS Gill, organising secretary and principal investigator, said the research work for both projects had already started from the task of carrying out research on animals hit by the disease.
The project would also come out with the seriousness of the disease in Punjab that had been ranked as one of the worst-affected states due to the dairy business in the state, he added.
Know the disease
Brucellosis is an infectious disease caused by bacteria from the genus Brucella. It is an infection that affects mainly animals, including goats, sheep, camels, pigs, elk, deer, cattle, and dogs. Humans contract Brucellosis on ingestion of milk or meat from the infected animals or coming in close contact with their secretions. In humans, Brucellosis can cause biphasic fever, night chills, joint pain and general discomfort or uneasiness.x