A new live oral cholera vaccine from non-virulent innocuous strain, which was modified to formulate the vaccine, has been developed by scientists from three Indian institutes.
National Institute of Cholera and Enteric Diseases (NICED) developed this new vaccine with the help of scientists from Institute of Microbial Technology in northern Chandigarh and Institute of Chemical Biology in Kolkata.
Scientists developed this vaccine after scanning more than 10000 isolates.
"We choose a route to sort out with a virulent strain and try to develop a vaccine out of that, and that virulent strain was discovered at this institute, National Institute of Cholera by Dr Nair and Dr Rammurti by scanning more than 10000 isolates," said Amit Ghosh, Emeritus Scientist, National Institute Of Cholera and Enteric Diseases.
The development of this new vaccine was regarded as the path-breaking achievement in the history of Indian Cholera vaccination.
This new vaccine got the US patent named VA 1.4 in just ten months.
"The novelty of this strain was acknowledged when we were able to get a US patent on it within 10 months of filing it. This is the only patent outside USA and nobody else has done this outside USA and we did it," added Ghosh.
Cholera affects thousands of people in India each year. Nearly all the sick are poor, tribal people-among the most neglected groups in India-who caught the disease from eating bad meat or drinking polluted water.
Scientists said that the new vaccine would lessen the burden of Cholera in India, which is one of the major hotspots of Cholera in the world.
"In the past month only we have investigated six outbreaks outside the country. So what people don't see to understand that there is a lot of Cholera and there is a need for a public tool to lessen the burden of cholera in the country," said G B Nair, Director, National Institute Of Cholera and Enteric Diseases.
Cholera can cause its victims to expel massive amounts of water from their bodies through diarrhoea and vomiting, and can kill within days if the patient fails to take in plenty of fluids. It does respond to antibiotics.
Major hotspots for cholera and other diarrhoeal diseases include Bangladesh, China, India, Indonesia, Pakistan, the Philippines, and much of Africa.