13 August 2022, New Delhi: Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare and President ICAR, Mr. Narendra Singh Tomar released Lumpy skin disease (LSD) vaccine named LumpyProVaxInd developed by ICAR-National Research Centre on Equines, Hisar and ICAR- IVRI, Izatnagar.
In 2019, the disease was reported for the first time in India from the Odisha state. About a year after introduction (2020-21), it was mainly restricted to Eastern part of our country. Later on, it rapidly spread to almost all the states in the country. The outbreaks recently (June/July/August 2022) being reported are extensive and much lethal with a mortality of up to 15%, particularly those being reported in Western part (Rajasthan) of the country.
LSD is primarily a disease of cattle. Emerging evidences suggest that LSDV can also cause mild illness in buffalo, camel, deer and horse. Due to its recent spread in unnatural hosts, there are growing concerns about its zoonotic implication, although confirmatory evidences of human infection are lacking. Sheepox virus (SPV) and goat pox virus (GPV) -based vaccine (heterologous vaccine) is usually authorized to induce cross protection against LSD in cattle, where homologous LSD vaccine is not available. The Government of India also authorized the use of goatpox vaccine to control LSD in cattle. However, heterologous vaccines provide partial protection and are not as efficacious as homologous vaccines.
The scientists at NRCE were well aware about the situation. They isolated the virus in 2019 itself and were in a process of developing a live-attenuated vaccine since then. ICAR-National Research Centre on Equines (ICAR-NRCE), Hisar (Haryana), in collaboration with ICAR-Indian Veterinary Research Institute (IVRI), Izatnagar (UP) developed a homologous live-attenuated LSD vaccine, named Lumpi-ProVacInd.
After initial safety and immunogenicity trials of the vaccine in laboratory animals at NRCE, Hisar, the experimental trials were conducted in calves at IVRI Mukteshwar. The safety of the vaccine has also been ascertained in the field in cattle and buffaloes of all age groups including lactating and pregnant ones. Based on the outcome of experimental and field trials, it can be concluded that the vaccine is safe and induces protective immunity in animals against LSD.