Corona virus COVID19, Corona virus COVID19 image

Indigenous Indian COVID19 vaccines in the global race to end the pandemic

New Delhi, Jul 04 (By Dr TV Venkateswaran): With the announcement of COVAXIN by Bharat Biotech and ZyCov-D Vaccine by Zydus Cadila the proverbial silver line in the dark clouds of COVID19 appears at the horizon. Now with the nod given by the Drug Controller General of India CDSCO (The Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation) for the conduct of the human trial, it will take anywhere between fifteen to eighteen months before licence are issued for the vaccines. Nonetheless, this marks the beginning of the end. In the past years, India has emerged as one of the significant vaccine manufacturing hubs. Indian manufacturers account for 60% of vaccine supplies made to UNICEF. The vaccine for novel coronavirus may be developed anywhere in the world, but without Indian manufacturers involved the production of required quantity is not going to be feasible. Vaccine race More than 140 candidate vaccines are under various stages of development. One of the leading candidates is AZD1222 developed Jenner Institute of University of Oxford and licenced to AstraZeneca British-Swedish multinational pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical company headquartered in Cambridge, England. The MRNA-1273 vaccine developed by Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute, Washington and taken up for production by the US-based Moderna pharmaceutical is just a step behind. Both these firms have already inked an agreement with Indian manufacturers for production of the COVID vaccines. Parallelly Indian institutions have also engaged in R&D for the development of vaccines in India. With the primary scientific inputs coming from institutions like Pune based ICMR institution National Institute of Virology and Hyderabad based CSIR institution Center for Cellular and Molecular Biology, six Indian companies are working on a vaccine for COVID-19. Along with the two Indian vaccines, COVAXIN and ZyCov-D, the world over, 11 out of 140 vaccine candidates have entered the human trials. None of these vaccines is unlikely to be ready for mass use before 2021. Immune system Antigen from the pathogen and antibodies produced by the human immune cells can be thought of as matching the blouse with a sari. Every pathogen has specific molecular structures called as antigen. They…

corona virus live update

India to explore novel blood plasma therapy for COVID-19

New Delhi, April 11 (TV Venkateswaran and Jyoti Singh) : Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology (SCTIMST) an Institution of National Importance under the Department of Science and Technology has obtained a go-ahead for taking a bold step to provide innovative treatment to patients suffering from COVID-19 disease.  Technically called “convalescent-plasma therapy,”, the treatment aim is to use the immune power gained by a recovered person to treat a sick person. Indian council for medical research (ICMR) the top authorising body in India has given approval to the SCTIMST for carrying out the novel treatment.  “We have applied for age cut off to the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) for permissions for relaxation of the norms for blood donation,” said Dr Asha Kishore, Director, SCTIMST. What is it When a pathogen like novel coronavirus infect, our immune systems produce antibodies. Like the police dogs, the antibodies span out to identify and mark the invading virus. White blood cells attach the identified intruders, and the body gets rid of the infection. The therapy, like blood transfusion, harvests the antibody from a recovered patient and ingest into a sick person. Helped by the antibody, the immune system mounts robust combat on the virus. What are antibodies: Antibodies are one of the front-line immune response to an infection by a microbe. They are a particular type of proteins secreted by immune cells called B lymphocytes when they encounter an invader, such as a novel coronavirus.  The immune system designs antibodies that are highly specific to each invading pathogen. A particular antibody and its partner virus are made for each other. How the treatment is given Blood is drawn from a person who has recovered from COVID-19 sickness. The serum is separated and screened for virus-neutralizing antibodies. Convalescent serum, that is the blood serum obtained from one who has recovered from an infectious disease and especially rich in antibodies for that pathogen, is then administered to a COVID-19 patient. The sick acquires passive immunisation. “Potential donor would be examined before the blood serum is extracted and given to a sick…

Health news

Initiative to find reasons behind prevalence of kidney disease in Andhra Pradesh

New Delhi, January 29: As compared to Indian average of 10-15% Chronic Kidney Disease of unknown etiology (CKDu) cases Uddanam region of Andhra Pradesh shows a high incidence rate ranging between 30-45% of population been affected.  It is being found there are high incidences of CKDu prevalent in that region. The cause of these incidences is unknown. To understand the problem that affects the kidney health of this population a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between Council of Scientific and Industrial Research-Indian Institute of Toxicology Research (CSIR-IITR), Lucknow and Great Eastern Medical School and Hospital (GEMS and H), Srikakulam, Andhra Pradesh. Under this MoU, both the institutions have agreed to jointly work on identifying the cause for high incidence of CKDu. GEMS and H, Srikakulam and CSIR-IITR, Lucknow will jointly work to collect samples of food and water from Uddanam region affected with CKDu and analyze them for cause of kidney diseases. Blood and urine samples of affected individuals will also be collected for identifying the cause for CKDu in the region. The study will leads to formulation of guidelines and suggest preventive measures to alleviate root causes of CKDu in the region. Chronic kidney disease basically refers to that the kidneys are damaged and can’t filter blood the way they should. The affected kidney function gets slower it can cause wastes to build up in the body. The damage happen with a slower pace and it takes long period of time that is why the disease is called chronic. It can leads to other health problems. High incidence of CKD leads to tremendous suffering of affected people and economic burden on the population. Frequent dialysis and transplant are the only options available to patients as the damage is irreversible after a particular stage. By Jyoti Singh (India Science Wire)