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Mumbai to soon get its own lab to diagnose animal-borne disease

Test samples are currently sent to labs in Nagpur or Chennai. The establishment of the lab in the city will cut down the process of diagnosis by 15 days.

mumbai Updated: Mar 05, 2018 08:22 IST
Eeshanpriya M S 
Eeshanpriya M S 
Hindustan Times
mumbai,zoonotics,research
The laboratory will also conduct research on the long-term and short-term effects of harbouring animal-borne diseases and treating them.(Representational photo)

In a bid to cut down the diagnosis time of animal-borne human diseases by 15 days, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has decided to enlist the help of the Indian Veterinary Research Institute in building a state-of-the-art zoonotic diseases laboratory in Mumbai.

The laboratory will be modelled on the ones existing at Nagpur, Bangalore, and Chennai.

Work on construction of the lab will begin in June. It is expected to become functional by March next year.

Dr Yogesh Shete, from BMC’s veterinary health department, said, “Currently, we send all human blood samples for testing for animal-borne diseases either to Nagpur or Bangalore. The results take over 15 days to reach back to us, but early diagnosis is the key to dealing with these diseases effectively. The new lab in Mumbai will help with that.”

There are over 300 diseases that humans can catch from animals. The most common ones are leptospirosis, Chikungunya, and swine flu. While the lab will be equipped to deal with cases as rare and challenging as the ebola virus, its main purpose will be to meet the daily requirements of conducting the diagnostic tests.

The laboratory will also conduct research on the long-term and short-term effects of harbouring animal-borne diseases and treating them. A budget provision of Rs1 crore has been set aside to construct the laboratory.

The lab will be located in Khar, where a five-storey veterinary hospital is slated to be set up in place of the municipal veterinary dispensary. The construction of the upcoming hospital is overseen by the Veterinary health department. Once it is made functional, it will be maintained by the BMC’s health infrastructure cell, said Dr Shete.

A senior civic official said, “The construction will not cost that much, as it will be a part of the five-storey building. The infrastructure and equipment in the lab will be the cost-incurring part of the deal, but it is too early to say how much the total cost will come up to.

First Published: Mar 05, 2018 08:22 IST