Sep 23: A Technology License Agreement (TLA) ceremony on “Brucella abortus S19Δ per vaccine” developed by ICAR-Indian Veterinary Research Institute (IVRI) was held on 22nd September, 2020 through virtual platform. The TLA was between Dr. R.K. Singh, Director, ICAR-IVRI, Izatnagar, Mr Rajiv Gandhi, CEO and MD, Hester Biosciences Limited, Ahmedabad, Ms Anju Bhalla, MD, DBT- Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC) and Dr Sudha Mysore, CEO, Agrinnovate India Limited. The ceremony was graced by Dr Trilochan Mohapatra, Secretary (DARE) & DG (ICAR), Dr Renu Swarup, Secretary, DBT and Chairperson, BIRAC, Dr B. N. Tripathi, DDG (Animal Science) and other dignitaries and officials from ICAR-IVRI, DBT, BIRAC, BCIL, DAHD and Hester Biosciences Limited.
During the ceremony, Dr T. Mohapatra DG ICAR emphasized the importance of the Brucella vaccine in India and its perspective abroad. He also highlighted its economic, social and developmental impact. He further complimented the Inventor of the technology and Director of the institute for this significant achievement. The technology was developed by the scientists of ICAR-IVRI Dr Pallab Chaudhari and his team. Dr Renu Swarup, Secretary, DBT also congratulated the inventor and his team and to ICAR, and stressed on more collaboration between ICAR and DBT to brings out more technologies for transfers which are at the development stage. The vaccine has great demand in India and will be of immense help in the national control programme on brucellosis. The vaccine has DIVA capability meaning that it can differentiate between naturally infected and vaccinated animals.
Brucellosis is one of the most important zoonotic diseases worldwide and also endemic in India causing huge economic losses to dairy industry due to infertility, abortion, birth of weak offsprings and reduced productivity. In India, calf-hood vaccination is practiced using live attenuated B. abortus S19 strain for control of the disease. B. abortus S19 strain is a very strong immunogen and provides lifelong immunity. However, this vaccine strain has several drawbacks like – residual virulence to human and animals, not suitable for vaccination in adult animals, causes abortion when used in pregnant animals and also interferes with sero-diagnosis of clinical infection.
To overcome some of these drawbacks, a modified strain of B. abortus S19 has been developed at ICAR-IVRI. The vaccine candidate was developed under DBT funded “Brucellosis network program”. In the process of modifying the S19 strain, lipopolysaccharide (LPS) structure of the organism was altered through deletion mutation. The newly developed strain was named as B. abortus S19Δper. Vaccine potential of S19Δper has been evaluated in experimental small animal model and also in buffalo calves.