Agri ministry releases recombinant ELISA kits for diagnosis of key animal diseases

The novel Enzyme-linked immune sorbent assay (ELISA) kits will help in the diagnosis of notifiable diseases in India, Glanders and Equine Infectious Anaemia which require special diagnosis for control and eradication in the country

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New Delhi: Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Mr Radha Mohan Singh on 10th January released recombinant Enzyme-linked immune sorbent assay (ELISA) kits: one for Glanders and other for Equine Infectious Anaemia. Both these diseases are notifiable diseases in India and require special diagnosis for control and eradication in the country.

Glanders is a fatal infectious and notifiable disease of equines including horses, donkeys and mules. The disease is caused by a bacterium known as Burkholderia mallei and has zoonotic potential. The organism is also considered as potential bio-weapon and categorized under ‘Tier 1 Select Agent’.

After continuous research efforts of more than eight years, National Research Centre on Equines (NRCE) has been able to develop a recombinant Hcp1 antigen ELISA as an alternate to complement-fixation test (CFT). The ELISA has been duly validated in India and the OIE Reference Laboratory, Germany and showed excellent sensitivity (97.2 percent) and specificity (99.6 percent). This technology has been transferred to eight State Disease Diagnostic Laboratories following approval of DADF, Ministry of Agriculture & Family Welfare and commercialized for transformation into ready to use kit.

This ELISA has a huge potential of international commercialization as recombinant protein-based ELISA is not available in any other country. This technology will prove to be a milestone in the control and eradication of glanders from India.

Equine infectious anaemia (EIA) is a chronic, debilitating and persistent infectious disease of equines caused by a retrovirus. It is an OIE notifiable disease. NRCE has also developed recombinant p26 protein-based ELISA as an alternative to Coggin’s test. This technology will provide sustainable and homogeneous source of antigen and harmonized protocol to ensure regular surveillance of EIA. Both kits are highly economical as compare to imported kits.