The Regional Centres and the Network Units of the Project has reported/investigated/recorded a large number of outbreaks of FMD throughout the country. This has helped in the understanding of the region-wise prevalence of different serotypes of FMD from time to time and associated epidemiology.
Collected a huge number of clinical specimens for initial virus serotyping and referred them to central FMD laboratory at Mukteswar for detailed characterization with creation and maintenance of National FMD virus repository.
Assessed the role of various factors associated with the origin, course and development of FMD outbreaks.
Accumulated epidemiological data in the project to evaluate the economic impact of the disease and for planning the strategy for FMD control programme in India.
A new Type A vaccine candidate has been selected and provided to the industry for incorporation in FMD vaccine formulation.
A multiplex PCR for the differentiation of four FMDV serotypes, O, A, C and Asia 1 in ELLISA negative samples was developed using the primers based exclusively on Indian FMDV sequences. The test was able to differentiate serotypes in all the clinical samples and could type many ELISA negative samples. The results indicated that mPCR could be good backup test for serotyping ELISA.
Molecular epidemiology of FMD has helped to a great extent in tracing the route and spread of FMD in the past few years, which was not completely possible by conventional serological methods. The evolutionary related sequences (or outbreaks caused by single or related strains) cluster at a particular place in the phylogenetic tree compared to the distantly related (divergent) strains either from the same or distantly separated geographical locations. This study is undertaken by comparing the nucleotide sequence of the whole capsid protein (VP1-4) encoding genes or the highly immunodominat capsid protein (VP1) gene of FMDV.
Genotype/lineage differentiating PCR was developed to determine the lineage of the type Asia 1 and type A field isolates involved in the outbreaks. This PCR gives a fast preliminary indication on the genetic lineage before proceeding with thorough sequencing of 1D region, which continues to be the confirmatory method to assign lineages by phylogenetic analysis. This assay promises to be an effective tool in molecular epidemiological investigation of outbreaks.
A RT-PCR (oligoprobing) ELISA in both solid and aqueous phase hybridization formats, targeting across the serotype conserved site at 3C-3D region, was developed and its effectiveness was compared with that of the known targets at the IRES region. A non-isotopic RNA dot hybridization assay with colorimetric detection, targeting both the IRES and the 3D region, was also validated and is capable of handling high throughput samples with ease. RT-PCR (oligoprobing) ELISA and dot hybridization assay showed 1000- and 10-fold greater sensitivity than the sandwich ELISA, respectively.
A metal affinity chromatography purified recombinant nonstructural protein (3AB3 protein of molecular weight ~38 kD) based ELISA test for differentiation of FMD virus infected from vaccinated animals (DIVA) has been developed at Central FMD Laboratory, Project Directorate on FMD, Mukteswar. This indigenously developed rDIVA-FMD kit, amenable to mass scale comprehensive sero-surveillance, is first of its kind for any animal disease in the country and has been designed as per the OIE approved guidelines and is at least four-fold cheaper at Rs. 25,000 per 450 tests than the commercial DIVA kits available on import.
Actively taking part in seromonitoring of FMD control programme being run by Govt. of India by providing companion diagnostics like LPBELISA.
Initiated National FMD sero-surveillance to understand prevalence of the virus in different parts of the country, the virus reservoirs and the herd immunity.
A trained work force for undertaking FMD diagnosis and seromonitoring was created across the country for which time to time training on various diagnostic techniques were conducted at Central FMD Laboratory, Mukteswar.
Three diagnostic kits were produced as required and supplied to all laboratories working on FMD including industry so that uniformity in results was ascertained with harmonization of the diagnostic tests and also made the country self sufficient in FMD diagnostics.
The prevalence of the VP359 deletion mutant of Serotype A virus in the country has been confirmed.
The absence of the Serotype C virus has been confirmed in the country since 1995, as a result of which the Serotype C virus has been excluded from the earlier used tetravalent FMD vaccine to make it trivalent and comparatively a cheaper FMD vaccine.
The FMD virus serotype specific vaccine strains are identified and supplied to the vaccine industry in the country with uniform indigenous vaccine strains for production and use of FMD vaccine in the country.
Regular vaccine matching exercise is undertaken using the field isolates and bovine vaccinated serum (BVS) to determine the antigenic relationship (r values) existing between the field isolates and the in use vaccine strains to establish the protective ability of the vaccine strains, which has been validated internally by the world referral laboratory on FMD.
Battery of candidate vaccine strains are in ready for future use in case of exigency.
Project Directorate on FMD, Mukteswar is adjudged as “FAO SAARC Regional Leading Diagnostic Laboratory on FMD” in South Asia.
Project Directorate on FMD, Mukteswar, is a member of the Global FMD Research Alliance (GFRA) as recognition for its proficiency in FMD diagnosis, epidemiology and research at global level.