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DEVELOPMENT OF BIOLOGICALS FOR IMMUNO-PROPHYLAXIS AND IMMUNO-DIAGNOSTIC

Background

Recently the livestock sector has emerged as a priority sector. Livestock has been subsistence sector dominated by small holders to meet their needs of milk, food and cash income on daily basis. In the rural areas, livestock is considered as a more secure source of income for the small farmer’s and landless poor’s. It has become important source of employment generation in rural areas. The poverty incidence in Pakistan is determined by income variability and thus livestock is the best hope for poverty reduction as it can uplift the socioeconomic conditions of our rural masses.

The agriculture sector, provides livelihood for two thirds of the country’s population, contributes 19.8 per cent to GDP, 60 per cent to exports and 42.3 per cent to the labor force. Most of its contribution comes from crops and livestock in almost equal proportions. Livestock and fisheries contribute 58.6 per cent of the agriculture value added and 11.6 per cent to the national GDP. Historically, it has been a subsistence sector dominated by small and landless farmers to meet their needs for food, draft animals, and some cash income. Nearly 8 million families involved in livestock raising driving more than 35 percent income from livestock production activities (Economic survey of Pakistan 2015-16).

The challenges in the 21st century will be doubling the output of several crops, livestock and fisheries production exclusively through productivity enhancement. It has been planned to apply biotechnology in the livestock sector for genetic improvement of animals in terms of milk & meat production, disease resistance, detection and prevention, vaccine and drug production etc. 

 

 

 

 

Description, Justification & Technical Parameters

Pakistan has an agriculture based economy with livestock an integral part of it and that serves as an important segment of human life focusing on food source in developing countries; more than 70% population of the country is dwelling in the villages and is dependent on agriculture/ dairy farming. Agriculture farmers in villages are small holders and income from the farming is not sufficient to meet their daily requirements. Every family has therefore started a side business of rearing livestock that is a highly profitable and is good source to alleviate poverty amongst the villagers. More than 8.0 million families are directly or indirectly involved in livestock or poultry business. However, The poultry farmers are facing problems of diseases, fodder/concentrate, management, natural disasters, marketing etc. 

There are many infectious diseases that badly affect the profitability of the poultry farming. Some of the viral diseases are Avian Influenza (AI) Newcastle Disease (ND), Infectious Bronchitis (IB), Infectious Bursal Disease (IBD) etc are endemic in this country.  All of the viral diseases are highly infectious and sometimes fatal that affects domestic, wild and commercial poultry. AI particularly subtype H5N1 is one of the major trans-boundary animal diseases that can attract international trade embargo to any country. The disease is highly contagious where virus replicates and spreads rapidly. The serotypes “H7N3”, “H9N2” and “H5N1” of AI were found in Pakistan during the period 1995-2015 (Khawaja et al., 2009 Awan et al., 2009). Serotype ‘H9N2’ was found to be the most prevalent. The disease is characterized by watery discharge from eyes and mucoid plugs making difficult for birds to respire. Gasping and gaping are the predominant respiratory signs reported in most of Avian Influenza outbreaks. It causes reduction in weight gain high morbidity, low mortality, lesions in the oral cavity. The prevalent disease cause heavy economic losses to poultry industry and sever consternation to the poultry farmers. Sometime intensity of the loss is so irrepairable that farmers become out of business. The loss is measured in terms of mortality, morbidity , poor feed convertion ratio and cost of treatment. The disease is controlled by stamping out of infected animals, bio-security measures, homeopathic drugs, passive immunization and mass scale vaccination. Stamping out of infected animals is not possible due to poor economic status of the farmers and lack of interest of the government for compensation. Bio-security measure is not effective on account of social behavior of the community. Homeopathic drugs have not yet experimentally proved as an effective way to eliminate the infectious agent. 
The disease status of livestock in any particular country or region may be considered as endemic, sporadic, or free; however, Pakistan is considered endemic to many of the poultry and cattle diseases. Some countries such as UK, France and Germany have eradicated these diseases, often following mass annual prophylactic vaccination campaigns and the stringent application of zoo sanitary measures following disease outbreaks.  In this regards, there is a dire need of a state-of-art biologics production unit where required manpower could be trained in production of vaccine using indigenous isolates or FAO recommended strains and its evaluation, and ultimately that could be utilized or practiced in similar production units in Pakistan in future.

Importance of the Project

Livestock contributes a major share in agriculture sector of Pakistan. The livestock population of Pakistan is 42.8 million cattle, 36.6 million buffaloes, 70.3 million goats, 29.8 million sheep, and 1.0 million camels. These animals are meant for two major categories i.e. production and draught and do yield 54,328 metric tons of milk and, together with poultry, 3,873 metric tons of meat (Economic Survey of Pakistan, 2015-16).  Presently Pakistan’s demand for vaccine is have not been fullfilled however, together with government and private sector has the limited annual production capacity. Further, there is absolute lack of biological production unit that could be utilized as human resource development in Pakistan. So, there is dire need for establishment of WHO recommended based biological production unit for livestock.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Introduction

Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology (IMBB) and Centre for Research in Molecular Medicine (CRiMM) have setup research innovation and commercialization centre as a part of the University of Lahore. The Centre will undertake research and development in the following areas.
1- Vaccine production particularly related to disease causing bacteria and viruses of animal rigin
2- Production of bacterial and viral antigens and antibod yies 
3- Animal Diagnostics ¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬
4-   Evaluation of antiviral activityof noval herbal and synthetic products

This activity has been undertaken on the behest of Higher Education Commission which is motivating all the universities to get involved in research and development particularly in economically important areas for industrial development of the country. The mission is to promote research activities in the universities for enhancing the quantum of knowledge based economies in the country. The University of Lahore is fully committed to promote such activities. For this purpose the university has made rich investment in purchasing high quality equipment needed for undertaking research at the highest level. In all the sections of IMBB as well as CRiMM, MPhil and PhD research is being carried out. During the last few years, a substantial number of students have graduated at MPhil and PhD levels in the fields of Microbiology, Molecular Biology, Biotechnology, Biochemistry, Physiology and Forensic Science. All these disciplines have ramifications for advancement of Biotechnology.
The university now has plan to devote substantial resources especially in terms of available man power and equipment for advancing research projects in such areas which may have direct bearing on the development of research projects of economic importance. The Institute has human resource comprising 26 PhDs in various disciplines of modern biology.  In one particular area that is microbiology and immunology, the university is proposing to invest its resources for completing the projects as specified below.
The technologies available for production of various industrial materials relevant to these technologies will be linked to the website of The University of Lahore. 


Projects

Following is the list of industrial projects available for launching by the industrial units interested in acquiring the technologies with the full support of CRIMM, The University of Lahore. 

 

 

 

Each technology as specified shall be available to the interested parties on the following conditions:

The university shall be responsible for providing full details of the technology available with the university.

The experts of the university shall be available on request for launching the production of the technology. 

All SOPs related to the specific technology shall be provided with full instructions and details.

The products available with Universdity of Lahore for purchase by the interested parties on such conditions has to be mutually agreed shall be fully supported by the requirements applicable by Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP).

All specifications for quality control and quality assurance shall be provided by the uni-versity.

 

 

 

 

Available Technology

Currently available technologies include the following:

Live new castle disease virus cell culture based vaccine

Live new castle disease chicken embryonated adapted virus vaccine

Inactivated avian influenza H9 oil based vaccine

Live infectious bronchitis virus cell culture based vaccine

Inactivated infectious bronchitis disease virus cell culture based vaccine

Inactivated new castle disease virus vaccine

Inactivated avian influenza bivalent (H7+H9) oil based vaccine

Inactivated whole culture Pasteurella multocida (Type A:1) oil based vaccine

Inactivated capsule free fractioned Pasteurella multocida (Type A:1) oil based vaccine.

Any relevant technologies in this area can be provided by the university on request and at negotiated cost.


Available Biologics

Following antigens can be made available for use in immunodiagnostics
New castle disease virus antigen
Avian Influenza subtype H7 and H9 antigens
Pasteurella multocida Type A:1 indigenous antigens 
Infectious bronchitis virus Type H:120

Available Facilities

Facilities for the following diagnostic tests are also available
Haem-agglutination inhibition (HIT)
Fluorescent antibody technique
Enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA)
Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR)
Complement fixation test (CFT)
Detection of antigen/antibody through modified techniques of agar gel immuno diffusion (AGID) and virus neutralization test (VNT)  
Characterization of indigenous wild antigen through PCR using common oligos
Invitro evaluation of antiviral activity of novel synthetic, natural allopathic and herbal compounds     

Following anti-sera can be made available for use in immunodiagnostics
New castle disease virus antiserum
Avian Influenza subtype H7 and H9 anti-sera
Pasteurella multocida Type A:1 indigenous antiserum
Infectious bronchitis virus Type H:120 anti-serum



Centre for Research in Molecular Medicine 
The University of Lahore
1-km Raiwind Road off Defence Road 
Bhoptiyian Chowk, Lahore