To counter the deadly bluetongue disease, Raksha Blu vaccine was launched on 8 January 2015 by Gachibowli facility of Indian Immunologicals Limited (IIL) in Hyderabad, Telangana.
The vaccine was launched with an aim to minimise the economic loss of the animal farming community that occurs due to bluetongue disease.
This is India’s first vaccine for bluetongue disease. This viral disease has about 24 strains prevalent across the world of which five are mostly prevalent in India.
The vaccine has been developed to protect the animals against five strains of the ‘bluetongue’ virus prevalent in the country. Per dose of the vaccine will be available for farmers at an expense of 5 rupees.
The vaccine is the result of collaborative efforts of IIL, TANUVAS (Tamil Nadu University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences) and ICAR (Indian Council of Agricultural Research). The vaccine was developed in three years.
This vaccine will be developed at Hyderabad facility of ILL, which has produced the first batch of three million doses.
This vaccine will be given to four-year-old cattle population and will be followed by a booster dose three months and onwards one dose will be given every year.
Bluetongue disease is a non-contagious, insect-borne, viral disease of ruminants which affects lakhs of sheep, goats, buffalo, deer, dromedaries and antelope across the country. It is caused by the pathogenic virus, Bluetongue virus (BTV), of the genus Orbivirus, of the Reoviridae family and is transmitted by the midge Culicoides imicola, Culicoides variipennis and other culicoids.
The symptoms include fever and blue tongue.