Indian scientists have developed Elisa tests for diagnosis of three livestock diseases, including the deadly avian influenza, which they say can make a revolution in the area of disease diagnosis.
Researchers led by Dr Harekrishna Pradhan at High Security Animal Disease Laboratory at Bhopal last week announced that they have developed an avian influenza vaccine for the first time in India which can prevent H5N1 virus infection in birds and capable of preventing its further spread.
Now they claimed that they have also identified the gene responsible for antibody production in mice to a particular antigen/organism. The antibody plays a major role in preventing disease in a living animal including human.
Presently antibodies are raised in animal or by hybridoma technique. But with the technique developed by us this gene was transferred to a type of bacteria which can now produce the antibody, Pradhan, who heads the laboratory, told IANS in a telephone interview.
We have tried in our laboratory and successfully produced the antibodies against bovine immuno deficiency virus (gag gene), bovine viral diarrhoea virus (NS3 gene) and avian influenza virus (NP gene)" Pradhan said. This technique can be applied for diagnosis of any disease of man or animal.
The High Security Animal Disease Laboratory (HSADL) has as many as 14 scientists and 7 research fellows who have been working on various animal diseases, Pradhan has also worked on Herpes virus induced cancer (Marek's disease) in chickens and received Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR)'s team research award in 1995 for this work.
The findings of Dr Pradhan who has been working at High Security Animal Disease Laboratory since 1990 are cited in standard text books referred world over.
Bovine immunodeficiency virus (BIV) infection is an emerging disease of cattle and buffaloes. This virus is similar to that of human immuno deficiency virus, but its status in India is not known. How ever this disease has nothing to do with humans.
Similarly Bovine viral diarrhoea virus (BVDV) is one of the commonest causes of infectious abortion in cattle.
It is also associated with a wide range of diseases from infertility to pneumonia, diarrhoea and poor growth. BVDV is normally the most important viral cause of disease in cattle. In India bovine diarrhoea has wide prevalence. It has no implication on human health.
An avian influenza virus is virus found chiefly in birds, but infections can occur in humans.
"Using these antibodies we have developed ELISA tests for diagnosis of these diseases. It is giving good results" Pradhan said.
Presence of antibody can be detected within five hours. Similar test is also applied for diagnosis in humans. It is cost effective and easy to produce in large quantities.
This approach, which is perhaps for the first time in the world, can make a revolution in the area of disease diagnosis, he said.