Friday, August 14, 2009

serum based vaccine for swine flu

India is gearing up to be a major contributor towards preventing the spread of deadly H1N1 flu. Serum Institute of India, Ocimum Biosolutions and Dr. Suresh Mittal, a researcher in Purdue University, have all taken up initiatives to fight this fast-spreading flu. The World Health Organization (WHO) has predicted that if the current outbreak turns into a pandemic, up to two billion people around the world could be infected by this virus.

The Pune-based Serum was selected by WHO to develop a vaccine to prevent the H1N1 flu. According to Suresh Jadhav, Executive Director, Serum, WHO had selected 12-13 similar companies from around the world and Serum is the only Indian institute in the list
The Ocimum Biosolutions is another Indian company thatb has launched a microarray based test, to detect the H1N1 virus. The test will be conducted on the updated version of the custom made OciChip platform that was used during the avian flu outbreak, three years ago. The test is to be conducted with the sequence information available from the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI).
In addition, to the microarray based test, the Hyderabad-based company has said that it can also provide a Real Time Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) based molecular diagnostic test also. It was said that both these tests can be conducted in a few hours and avoids the risk of patients with suspected cases infecting others when the wait is longer.
professor Mittal of comparative pathobiology in the School of Veterinary Medicine in Purdue. He has already received gene samples of the H1N1 virus and has started working on it, in his laboratory. Within a month, Mittal hopes to develop a vaccine ready for testing. He would be using the same approach that he had developed for the H5N1 bird flu virus during its outbreak.

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