Bengaluru scientists develop test kit for lumpy skin in cattle

The kits have been developed by scientists and experts from Indian Council for Agricultural Research - National Institute of Veterinary Epidemiology and Disease Informatics (NIVEDI).
Image used for representation.
Image used for representation.

BENGALURU: Bengaluru-based scientists have developed an easy to use test kit that will help in early detection of Lumpy Skin Disease (LSD) and Brucellosis among the cattle.

The kits have been developed by scientists and experts from Indian Council for Agricultural Research - National Institute of Veterinary Epidemiology and Disease Informatics (NIVEDI). The kits were distributed to farmers and laboratories, during the annual review meeting of the National Animal Disease Epidemiology Network in the Bengaluru campus, on Tuesday.

The first case of LSD was detected in India in 2019, and so far, over 50 lakh cases have been reported and there have been 2.50 lakh cattle deaths. Brucellosis is an old but dangerous disease, as it affects humans. To control this, the central government is keen to introduce a vaccine. The invention of this ‘Made In India’ kit will help in early detection, and help control the spread, explained Director of NIVEDI, Dr Baldev R Gulati.

The test kits cost Rs 100 and Rs 50 respectively. The animal husbandry department is working with the state to test animals for the diseases. The kits can be used on cows, buffaloes, goats, sheep, pigs, camels and horses.

Senior scientist at ICAR Dr Manjunath Reddy, who developed the LSD kit said, “So far, the LSD kits were being imported, and the tests were done in labs. Now, these antibody test kits that have been designed, are similar to the PCR test kits that were used during Covid-19. The results will be available within minutes. Before releasing the test kits, they were tested on over 15,000 samples, and was developed after a year’s study.

Principal scientist at ICAR and an expert in Brucellosis, Dr Rajeshwari Shome said, the kit released on Tuesday, is the revised Indian version. So far, the kits have been imported. “I started working on the kit in 2015 and first designed one where animal protein was used. The results would come in five hours. The new kit is similar to the pregnancy test kits, where blood or semen sample is used and the results are available in 2-3 minutes. We have shared the kit samples with 25 states and have sought their feedback as well,” she added.

During the event, NIVEDI signed a MoU with the National Centre for Biological Sciences (NCBS), to enhance cooperation and share research initiatives focusing on zoonotic diseases and their impact on animal and human health.

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