India is The First Country to Develop Indigenous Vaccine to Treat Dysentery

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The first vaccine to treat Shigellosis, which is a type of diarrhea, would be in the market by next year. The National Institute of Cholera and Enteric Diseases (NICED) and Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) transferred the technology to Wellcome Trust Hilleman Laboratories Pvt Ltd on April 23, 2019.


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According to the lead inventor of the technology, Hemant Koley from the NICED said that The National Institute of Cholera and Enteric Diseases (NICED) had been working on it for the last 15 years. After different stages of trials, it was finally approved by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) for commercial production. “It is bloody diarrhea, that is, the stool would be accompanied with blood. This disease mainly affects your large intestine,”



The annual cases of shigellosis throughout the world are around 164.7 million, resulting in about 1.1 million deaths, basically of children below five years and in the elderly population.



Dysentery vaccine is a dead vaccine, which means, it a dead germ of the bacteria causing disease would be introduced in the body so that the immune system develops immunity against it. Asked at what stage of the development the vaccine is, Koley said, “Laboratory trials have been done. It has also been tried on mice, rabbits and guinea pigs. The Wellcome Trust would do commercial production for human trials. We hope to finish all this and let the vaccine come to the market in 2020.”


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The disease, at present, is largely treated through antibiotics. But considering the fact that antibiotic resistance has become a major concern, the vaccine was the need of the hour, an ICMR scientist said.



The researcher claimed that in animals, the vaccine showed 100 percent efficacy. Efficacy becomes an important parameter because if that is not high, the commercial production will not be viable. The cost of the vaccine is expected to be around Rs 10-15, and thus, the researchers hope that it would be affordable for a large population.



Asked how many doses were required, Koley said, “In animals, three doses were given. But in human beings, we hope that even if pregnant mothers are given one dose, the fetus would be immunized.” A health department official said no call has been made whether it would be part of the government’s routine immunization programme.


Source: Down to Earth


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