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Regional Research Centre on Foot-and-Mouth disease

Deptt. of Veterinary Microbiology
College of Veterinary Sciences
LUVAS, Hisar

1. Year of establishment and history of development:

The Regional Research Centre on Foot-and-Mouth Disease (RRC on FMD), CCS HAU Hisar was originally established in 1968 in the Department of Bacteriology and Hygiene as one of the FMD virus typing units by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), New Delhi. Later on in 1971, the project was revised as All India Coordinated Research Project (AICRP) on FMD. The Hisar Centre was upgraded to RRC on FMD as one of the eight Regional Centres all over India catering to the need of five north-western states (Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Punjab and Rajasthan) and Union Territory of Delhi. Recently in the year 2001, the AICRP on FMD has again been upgraded to Project Directorate on FMD with its headquarters at IVRI Campus Mukteshwar, Kumaon, Uttarakhand.

2. Faculty:(present position)
Dr. N. K. Kakker, Sr. Immunologist associated in the FMD project as Officer Incharge

Sr. No. Post Sanctioned In position Vacant
i Assoc. Prof./Equiv. Sr.Scientist – (1)   One
ii Asstt. Prof./Equiv. Asstt. Scientist (1)* Dr. Swati Dahiya Nil

* Dr. R. Sharma, Sr. Scientist selected as Director of Research w.e.f. Dec. 2013

3. (a) Research Projects (on-going)

Funding Agency Title Duration Name of P.I. and Co-PI
ICAR Epidemiological Studies on FMD Continuing since 1971 N.K. Kakker, P.I. and Swati Dahiya, Co-PI
ICAR FMD Control Programme Continuing since 2010 N.K. Kakker, P.I. and Swati Dahiya, Co-PI
ICAR Epidemiological Studies on FMD Started in 2013 R. Sharma, P.I. and N.K. Kakker, Co-PI



(b) Research Projects (completed)

Funding Agency Title Duration Name of P.I.
Director, Animal Husbandry and Dairying, Haryana,Panchkula Sero-monitoring of FMD Control Programme 2004-06 R.Sharma, N. K. Kakker, Co-PI



4. Number of Post graduate students:

Degree on Rolls Completed
Ph. D. 1 4
M.V.Sc. - 12



Number of M.V.Sc. and Ph. D. Theses submitted (Thrust areas wise)

Thrust areas No. of M.V.Sc. Theses No. of Ph. D. Theses
FMD Research 12 4



5. The RRC on FMD, Hisar has a mandate to develop effective surveillance and control measures for one of the important diseases of livestock, i.e., FMD in north-west India (Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Punjab and Rajasthan) and Union Territory of Delhi with particular reference to FMD surveillance, epidemiology and related research work. The Centre has also been assigned the objective of sero-monitoring of FMD-Control Programme in Haryana and Delhi.

6. (a) Total number of Research/ Review/ Scientific Popular Publications:

Research Review Chapters in books Scientific Popular
70 4 In Books : 5
In Manuals : 35
12



(b) Significant Research Publications:

  1. Shikha Yadav, Sharma, R. and Chhabra, R. 2005. Interleukin-2 potentiates foot-and-mouth disease vaccinal immune response in mice. Vaccine 23: 3005-09.
  2. Chhabra, R., Sharma, R. and Kakker, N. K. 2004. Comparative immunogenecity of foot- and-mouth disease virus antigens in FMD – Haemorrhagic Septicaemia combined vaccine and FMD vaccine alone in buffalo calves. Indian Journal of Experimental Biology 42: 259-264.
  3. Sharma, R., Prasad, S., Ahuja, K.L., Rahman, M. M. and Kumar, A. 1985. Cell-mediated immune response following foot-and-mouth disease vaccination in buffalo calves. Acta Virologica 29: 509-13.
  4. Kumar, N., Sharma, R. and Kakker, N. K. 2007. Non-structural Protein 3A for differentiation of foot-and-mouth disease infected and vaccinated animals in Haryana (India). Zoonoses and Public Health 54: 376-82.
  5. Joshi, G., Sharma, R. and Kakker, N. K. 2009. Phenotypic and functional characterization of T-cells and in-vitro replication of FMDV serotypes in bovine lymphocytes. Vaccine 27: 6656-6661.


© Books/ Monographs/ Practical Manuals/ Bulletins published:

Sr. No. Title Author Year Publisher
(a) Books - 5
i. Control of infectious diseases with particular emphasis on Foot and Mouth Disease Sharma, R. and Kakker, N.K. 2012 Department of Vety. Microbiology, LUVAS, Hisar.
ii. Current Concepts in Immunoassays for Diagnosis of Animal Diseases Sharma, R. and Kakker, N.K. 2009 Department of Vety. Microbiology CCS HAU Hisar.
iii. Current Methods in Veterinary Microbiology Kakker, N.K., Sharma, R. and Archana 2006 Department of Vety. Microbiology CCS HAU Hisar.
iv. Pashuyon Ka Muhn-va-Khur Rog (2nd Revised Edition) Ahuja, K.L. Prasad, S. and Kumar, A. 1994 Directorate of Publications CCS HAU Hisar.
v Pashuyon Ka Muhn-va-Khur Rog (1st Edition) Ahuja, K.L. Prasad, S. and Kumar, A. 1992 Department of Vety. Microbiology CCS HAU Hisar.
(b) Bulletins – 2
i. FMD News Sharma, R Kakker, N. K., and Kalra, S. 2004 Department of Vety. Microbiology CCS HAU Hisar.
ii. FMD News -do- 2003 -do-
(c) Compact Discs – 5



7. RESEARCH HIGHLIGHTS OF FMD PROJECT

A. EPIDEMIOLOGICAL STUDIES

The Regional Research Centre on FMD, Hisar has done a commendable work on epidemiology of FMD in north-west India. The project has contributed significantly in terms of collection of epidemiological data, distribution of virus types/subtypes and other pertinent information which may help in containment programme leading to the control of FMD.

  1. A total of 1724 FMD outbreaks were recorded by the Regional Centre, Hisar in the Haryana state since the inception of the project (1971-2012). Maximum number (169) of outbreaks recorded during 1976 coincided with heavy rains followed by widespread floods. Likewise, the lowest number (12) of outbreaks recorded during 2004 to 2012 can be attributed to the implementation of FMD-Control Programme in Haryana since January 2004. No FMD outbreak was recorded in Haryana and Delhi during 2012-2013.


  2. From 1724 outbreaks, a total of 5066 FMD specimens were collected/ received mainly from six north-western states including Delhi. Of these, 3308 samples proved viable/ typable. The typability percentage recorded by Regional Centre, Hisar compared well with International Standards.
  3. FMD virus subtype A22 was recovered from vaccinated organized farms. The vaccine earlier did not contain this virus type. Based on the recommendations of this centre, a polyvalent FMD vaccine containing A22 virus subtype is now commercially available. The incorporation of FMD virus subtype A22 in vaccine resulted in drastic reduction of FMD outbreaks due to this subtype.
  4. All the four prevalent FMD virus types (O, A, C, Asia1) besides A22 were recorded from this region. Type O virus was found to be the dominant FMD virus type during these years except in 1976 and 1984 when Asia1 overtook other virus types. FMD virus type C has not been recorded in this region since 1991. Based on this information, Govt. of India has recommended the use of trivalent FMD vaccine (containing FMD virus types O, A22 and Asia1) instead of quadrivalent vaccine (used previously) in the recently launched FMD-Control Programme. This has led to drastic reduction in the cost of FMD vaccine resulting in savings of crores of rupees in government exchequer.
  5. During 2003-04, maximum number of outbreaks involved buffaloes and cattle (either simultaneously or alone) followed by goats and sheep (either simultaneously or alone). However during 2004-05 and 2005-06, cattle and buffaloes were involved only simultaneously. It is worthwhile to mention that during 2006-07 and 2007-08 no other species except cattle were involved in FMD outbreaks. Further during subsequent years the number of outbreaks remained confined to 1-2 only. No FMD outbreak was recorded in Haryana during 2012-2013.
  6. This centre has done excellent work on immunological interventions in naturally infected/ vaccinated buffalo calves. The studies conducted on immunogenicity of FMD virus revealed the involvement of cellular immune response as revealed by an increase in T-lymphocyte population. FMD infected/vaccinated animals showed higher proportions of circulating gamma/delta T-cell population. This was the first report implicating cellular immune response in FMD infected/vaccinated buffaloes. FACS analysis of buffalo lymphocytes following FMD infection/vaccination was also reported by this Centre for the first time.
  7. Field trial studies of oil adjuvanted FMD vaccine in a village indicated that vaccination provided protection against FMD at village level despite the fact that the disease was prevalent in neighbouring villages. This was the first pilot study undertaken in rural cohort in north-west India demonstrating significance of sero-monitoring and systematic FMD vaccination.


B. FMD CONTROL PROGRAMME

  • Sero-monitoring of FMD-Control programme in Haryana and Delhi: The Government of India has launched FMD control programme (FMD-CP) during 10th Five Year Plan including eight districts of Haryana (Bhiwani, Fatehabad, Hisar, Jhajjar, Jind, Rohtak, Sirsa and Sonipat). The FMD-CP has been extended to cover all the remaining 13 districts of Haryana during 2011-12. This Centre is participating actively in implementation of FMD-CP by providing logistic support in the form of surveillance and sero-monitoring work in all the 21 districts of Haryana and Delhi. The incidence of FMD outbreaks has come down very low during the previous four years as a result of the mass vaccination programme by the Department of Animal Husbandry & Dairying, Govt. of Haryana.
  • This Centre has taken the lead in whole of the country by achieving its targets of analyzing pre- & post-vaccination serum samples up to tenth phase of FMD vaccination in Haryana and Delhi. A total of 26113 serum samples of cattle and buffaloes from eight districts of Haryana (25076) and Delhi (1037) received from State ELISA Lab, Sonipat and Dept. of Animal Husbandry, Delhi were by LPB ELISA. Likewise, serum samples have also been analyzed for FMD-CP Phases XI and XII.
  • A total of 16847 serum samples of cattle and buffaloes from Haryana (16647; 8311 pre- and 8336 post-vaccination) and Delhi (200; 100 pre- and 100 post-vaccination) have been analyzed in serial dilutions for estimation of antibody levels against FMDV serotypes O, A and Asia-1 by LPB ELISA. At the end of Phase XIV in FMD-CP districts, the overall per cent sero-conversion (>1.8 log10 antibody titres) was 83.99, 80.95 and 80.50 against FMDV serotypes O, A and Asia-1, respectively, in cattle and buffaloes together. Likewise, the overall per cent protective antibody levels against FMD virus serotypes O, A and Asia-1 were 71.20, 73.10 and 62.10, respectively in cattle and buffaloes together at the end of Extended FMD-CP Phase III/ ASCAD Phase X. In Delhi, the overall per cent protective antibody levels against FMD virus serotypes O, A and Asia-1 were 98.0, 100.0 and 100.0, respectively in buffaloes.
  • The results of these studies revealed that animals in Haryana and Delhi state developed > 80% herd immunity against prevalent FMD virus serotypes after fourth phase of vaccination under FMD-CP which are maintained up to 14th phase of vaccination in both the states. This data provided logistic support that in the state of Haryana, mass FMD vaccinations after 14 rounds of vaccination in FMD – CP districts as well as 10 vaccinations inExtended FMD-CP/ ASCAD districts has provided sufficient protection against FMD at herd level despite the fact that the disease is present in neighboring states.


C. NATIONAL FMD SERO-SURVEILLANCE

  • Under National FMD sero-surveillance, a total of 5682 randomly selected animals (1484, Pre- 1st, 1564, Pre- 4th Phase of vaccination and 2634 pre-8th phase vaccination) from different districts of Haryana were analysed for anti- NSP antibodies. The percentage of animals which were found positive for anti- NSP antibodies during these two phases: Pre 1st vaccination (before start of FMD CP) and Pre 4th vaccination (after two years of FMD-CP) were 31.94 and 18.40%, respectively. A significant (P<0.01) reduction in anti-NSP antibody profile in Haryana was reported 2 years after launching FMD-CP. Before 8th phase of vaccination, the proportion of NSP positive animals showed further lowered to 12.12% level. This further supports the fact that incidence of FMD virus circulation in the state has significantly reduced due to vaccination.
  • A total of 4200 serum samples from all the 21 districts in Haryana were collected/ received to study the carrier status of animals after FMD-CP Phase XIV/ ASCAD Phase X. Anti-3AB3NSP antibodies against FMDV have been demonstrated in 8.87% (142/1600) animals in FMD-CP districts. On the other hand, the animals from extended FMD-CP/ ASCAD districts of Haryana demonstrated anti-3AB3NSP antibodies in 5.88% (153/2600) animals.

 


IMPACT OF PROJECT

In view of above presented data on the epidemiology, FMD control programme and National sero-surveillance Haryana state can serve as a model towards “FMD Free Haryana”. This regional centre is also supporting other network unit in north-west zone i.e., Punjab, J&K, Himachal Pradesh, Delhi and Rajasthan. Reduced incidence of the disease in Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Delhi and J &K support the candidacy of these states for “Zonal freedom from FMD”. It is envisaged that the success of FMD-CP will pave the way for launching a National FMD Eradication Programme in the country.

8. Awards/ Honours/ Recognitions of Faculty

Sr. No. Name of the Award/ Honour/ Recognition Name of the Faculty member Year of Award Field/ Subject
1 ‘Certificate of Appreciation’ given by the Vice-Chancellor, LUVAS in recognition of contribution made for Regional Research Centre on FMD, Hisar being adjudged as best Centre of the PD on FMD in the country for the year 2011-12. Drs. R. Sharma and  N. K. Kakker 2013 FMD Research
2 Best AICRP on FMD Center for the year 2011-12 given by the Project Director on FMD, Mukteswar at DUVASU, Mathura. Drs. R. Sharma and  N. K. Kakker 2012 FMD Research
3 ‘Letter of Appreciation’ given by the Vice-Chancellor, LUVAS in recognition of contribution made for Hisar Centre being adjudged as Best Regional Centre of FMD during 2010-11. Drs. R. Sharma and  N. K. Kakker 2011 FMD Research
4 First Prize for the Best Regional Centre of FMD during 2010-11. Drs. R. Sharma and  N. K. Kakker 2011 FMD Research
5 ‘Letter of Appreciation’ given by Project Director on FMD, Mukteswar in recognition of the research work done by Regional Research Centre on FMD, Hisar during 2008-09. Drs. R. Sharma and  N. K. Kakker 2010 FMD Research
6 Rajpal Best Research Paper Award Dr. R. Sharma 2001 Vety. Micro.
7 Conference Travel Grant Award The Royal Society, London Dr. N. K. Kakker 1999 Vety. Micro.
8 Fellowship Award for Excellent Abstract (9th HTLV Conference, Japan) Dr. N. K. Kakker 1999 Vety. Micro.



9. Overseas Assignments/ Visits/ Fellowships

Sr. No. Name of Faculty Type of Assignment Period Country
1 Dr. A. Kumar Commonwealth Fellowship 1986-89 U.K.
2 Dr. R. Sharma Commonwealth Fellowship 1987-90 U.K.
3 Dr. R. Sharma Participation in Conference July 1989 Germany
4 Dr. R. Sharma Participation in Conference June 1993 Canada
5 Dr. R. Sharma Participation in Conference Aug. 1993 U.K.
6 Dr. K. L. Ahuja Participation in Conference Aug. 1994 Kenya
7 Dr. N. K. Kakker Commonwealth Fellowship 1995-99 U.K.
8 Dr. R. Sharma DAAD Fellowship Oct. 2005 Germany
9 Dr. N. K. Kakker Commonwealth Academic Staff Fellowship 2007-08 U.K.



10. Conferences/ Seminars/ Symposia/ Summer Institutes/ Short courses/ Trainings organized:

Centre of Advanced Studies/Faculty Trainings: 45


11. Infrastructural Development :

In May 1977, a separate laboratory for FMD research work having an approximate area of 3240 sq. ft. was constructed in place of the erstwhile library of College of Vety. Sciences. The laboratory was inaugurated by Dr. B. K. Soni, the then Director General, ICAR, New Delhi. The newly constructed laboratory was equipped with air-conditioning and air-curtains system, for having working atmosphere round the year. The Hisar Centre was the first amongst the Regional Centres of FMD to have a disease security system. The laboratory was provided with all the necessary equipments for FMD research work.

Recently, in April 2002, the FMD laboratory has been shifted to ICAR building (erstwhile Blood Protista Lab.) vacated by the Project Coordinator, AICRP on Blood Protista after termination of their project. The newly occupied building has its own separate Animal House as well as standby power generation system. Besides, there is a provision for disease retention facilities and the premises have been divided into restricted and unrestricted areas. Further, the building is equipped with the Fire-Fighting System. The laboratory has different sections for different scientific pursuits and well equipped with specialized scientific and general research instruments for FMD research work.