Winter Is On – Swine Flu Might Unease J&K

However; A Safe, Potent Chikungunya Vaccine Developed

A Serious Study Report; By:
Harbans S Nagokay

Jammu, December 20
Even after about seven years,J&K is still struggling for its first swine flu laboratory to conduct diagnostic tests of H1 N1 influenza. At the same time, funds allocated by GOI are otherwise not properly utilized for dedicated isolation wards there-for. Yet; a blame game between the center & state governments is going-on in reality over fixing the liabilities toward procurement of testing kits or-else equipment’s meant for the purpose.
Swine flu; first surfaced in India in 2009, there is just one referral laboratory which conducts diagnostic tests for patients referred from all designated government hospitals. As a result, the reports for several patients are delayed by four or five days even more, making the tests “redundant”.
On the other side; at the times when India is targeting to break into the top 50 best countries to do business in, and the government has identified areas requiring doing away with complex rules and simplifying procedures to enable businesses to start in four days flat.With India ranked poorly at 130th among 190 nations on the World Bank’s Ease of Doing index, Finance Minister ArunJaitley held a meeting on Monday to identify areas to improve the business climate and the country’s ranking by cutting down on steps required to start a venture and make easy credit available.
At the same time, Scientists of US have developed the first vaccine for chikungunya fever made from an insect-specific virus that does not have any effect on people, making it safe and effective.
The newly developed vaccine quickly produces a strong immune defense and completely protects mice and nonhuman primates from disease when exposed to the chikungunya virus, researchers said.This vaccine offers efficient, safe and affordable protection against chikungunya and builds the foundation for using viruses that only infect insects to develop vaccines against other insect-borne diseases,” said Scott Weaver, professor at The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston (UTMB) in the US.
Chikungunya is a mosquito-borne virus that causes a disease characterised by fever and severe joint pain, often in hands and feet, and may include headache, muscle pain, joint swelling, or rash.Some patients will feel better within a week but many develop longer-term joint pain that can last up to years.Death is rare but can occur, researchers said.Traditionally, vaccine development involves trade-offs between how quickly the vaccine works and safety. Live-attenuated vaccines that are made from weakened versions of a live pathogen typically offer rapid and durable immunity but reduced safety.On the other hand, the inability of inactivated vaccines to replicate enhances safety at the expense of effectiveness, often requiring several doses and boosters to work properly.There may be a risk of disease with both of these vaccine types, either from incomplete inactivation of the virus or from incomplete or unstable weakening of the live virus that is only recognized when rare vulnerable individuals develop
disease. To overcome these trade-offs, the researchers used the Eilat virus as a vaccine platform since it only infects insects and has no impact on people.The UTMB researchers used an Eilat virus clone to design a hybrid virus-based vaccine containing chikungunya structural proteins.The Eilat/Chikungunya vaccine was found to be structurally identical to natural chikungunya virus. The difference is that although the hybrid virus replicates very well in mosquito cells, it cannot replicate in mammals.Within four days of a single dose, the Eilat/Chikungunya candidate vaccine induced neutralising antibodies that lasted for more than 290 days. The antibodies provided complete protection against chikungunya in two different mouse models.In nonhuman primates, Eilat/Chikungunya elicited rapid and robust immunity – there was neither evidence of the virus in the blood nor signs of illness such as fever after chikungunya virus infection, researchers said. The findings were published in the journal Nature Medicine.

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