Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, Agriculture minister Atul Bora and others launching the Cysvax vaccine at Pig Expo 2016

Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal on November 28 unveiled a vaccine for pigs that helps in killing of tapeworms at the Pig Expo in Rani. Touted as the world’s first vaccine against tapeworm in pigs, the vaccine Cysvax, developed by Indian Immunologicals Ltd, will help be available for farmers soon.

Participating in the Pig Expo, organised by ICAR – National Research Centre on Pig, Rani, as the chief guest, Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal said that there is a need to intensify collective efforts to bring growth to Agriculture sector in the state and the government is making all out efforts to boost production in livestock and fish to make Assam self sufficient.

Highlighting the need to engage in piggery in a scientific way so that youths can find employment, Sonowal said pig farming can generate good profits for less investment. While inaugurating the vaccine, the chief minister congratulated Indian Immunologicals Limited for bringing out the vaccine and said the acceptability of pork and other related items would now increase as many people shun pork fearing tape worm infection. Urging the scientists engaged in veterinary research to come up with newer solutions to increase livestock production in the country, Sonowal said the research innovations must be applicable in the field and should bring practical benefits to the people.

Indian Immunologicals Limited (IIL), the market leader in veterinary biologicals and one of the largest animal and human health players in India, unveiled Cysvax – the first vaccine to fight against Tapeworms in pigs. IIL has developed a recombinant porcine (pigs) Cysticercosis vaccine – Cysvax for use in pigs which also has the potential to significantly reduce the incidence of epilepsy in humans.

While unveiling Cysvax, managing director at IIL Dr K Anand Kumar said, “IIL is the largest veterinary vaccine company in India and undertakes the research and development to provide cost effective solutions for various diseases. 70% of world’s emerging diseases in humans are of animal origin. In line with WHO’s ‘One Health’ (Health of Humans, Animals and Ecosystems are interconnected), Cysvax will significantly reduce the incidence of epilepsy in the developing world.”

“Northeast states has more than 50% of the country’s Pig population and this vaccine will be a boon to the pig farmers,” he further added.

Cysticercosis is a parasitic disease caused by ingesting the eggs of the pork tapeworm, Taenia solium. It is a zoonotic parasite, involving pigs as intermediate hosts. Humans are usually infected by the ingestion of eggs present in the undercooked pork, vegetables and greens that have been improperly washed.  Cysts that develop in the central nervous system cause Neuro-Cysticercosis (NCC), one of the predominant reasons for epilepsy in humans.

Indian Immunologicals Limited collaborated with Dr Marshall Lightowlers, University of Melbourne, Australia and GALVmed (Global Alliance for Veterinary medicine) to develop the vaccine. IIL obtained license to manufacture and market this product after conducting extensive field trials in India and many other countries such as Spain, Peru etc. Trials are also underway in Nepal, Zambia, Uganda and Tanzania.

IIL is a wholly owned subsidiary of the National Dairy Development Board (NDDB).

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