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Indian Immunologicals launches first vaccine CYSVAX against tapeworms in pigs

Our Bureau, Bengaluru
Wednesday, October 19, 2016, 16:20 Hrs  [IST]

Indian Immunologicals, a wholly owned subsidiary of the National Dairy Development Board which is a veterinary biological market major has now launched CYSVAX vaccine to fight against tapeworms in pigs. The recombinant porcine vaccine also has the potential to significantly reduce the incidence of epilepsy in humans.
The company collaborated with Dr. Marshall Lightowlers, University of Melbourne, Australia and GALVmed (Global Alliance for Veterinary medicine) to develop CYSVAX. It obtained license the to manufacture and market this product after conducting extensive field trials in India and many other countries such as Spain, Peru etc. Trials are also underway in Nepal, Zambia, Uganda and Tanzania. The company claims that it is the world’s first vaccine to fight against Tapeworms in pigs.
Cysticercosis is a parasitic disease caused by ingesting the eggs of the pork tapeworm, Taenia solium. It is a zoonotic parasite, involving pigs as intermediate hosts. Humans are usually infected by the ingestion of eggs present in the undercooked pork, vegetables and greens that have been improperly washed. Cysts that develop in the central nervous system cause Neuro-Cysticercosis (NCC), one of the predominant reasons for epilepsy in humans.
Open defecation and unhygienic pig rearing are the primary breeding grounds for Tapeworms (T. Solium). Cases of Cysticercosis have been found to occur across India, particularly in the North UP and Northeast states. Prevalence of porcine Cysticercosis as reported from slaughterhouse data ranges from 7% to 12% in all pigs. A recent study in Uttar Pradesh reported a prevalence of 26% in pigs.
WHO has designated Cysticercosis as one of the 17 neglected tropical diseases  worldwide. The life cycle of a tapeworm is dependent on the link between humans and pigs. Any interruption in this link can result in the elimination of the parasite. Vaccination of pigs can break the parasite's life-cycle and enable in removing the source of infection for humans. The Union government’s Swacch Bharat programme will help to eradicate such neglected diseases through a clean environment. The vaccine along with basic animal hygiene will compliment the efforts of Swacch Bharat.
“Seventy percent of the world’s emerging diseases in humans are of animal origin. In line with WHO’s ‘One Health for Humans and Animals, CYSVAX will significantly reduce the incidence of epilepsy in the developing world”, said Dr K Anand Kumar, managing director, IIL.


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