Study finds Covaxin effective against the UK variant

Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin has been found to neutralise the UK variant with “similar efficiency” as the strain used for making the vaccine and hence “dispels the uncertainty of possible neutralisation escape” following vaccination. Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin has been found to neutralise the UK variant with “similar efficiency” as the strain used for making the vaccine … Continue reading Study finds Covaxin effective against the UK variant

NIV develops ELISA test to detect coronavirus antibodies

In a first, NIV Pune has developed an ELISA test to detect IgG antibodies that are developed in response to infection by novel coronavirus. The ELISA test, to be manufactured by Zydus Cadila, will be used for testing the blood samples of 30,000 people in 75 hotspot districts. The Pune-based National Institute of Virology has … Continue reading NIV develops ELISA test to detect coronavirus antibodies

Soon all 52 labs to confirm COVID-19 cases, but what about sequencing?

Finally, by March 13, to avoid delay, all 52 labs will be able to confirm novel coronavirus cases without sending samples to NIV Pune for confirmation. Similarly, it's time India empowers national labs to undertake whole genome sequencing of SARS-CoV-2 and other viruses/bacteria. The global recognition of the Pune-based National Institute of Virology’s “demonstrated expertise” … Continue reading Soon all 52 labs to confirm COVID-19 cases, but what about sequencing?

SARS-CoV-2: Finally, India shares genome sequence data with GISAID

A day after I reported that India has not shared genome sequence data of the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) with GISAID, NIV shared two sequences on March 5. India has finally shared two whole genome sequence data of the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) with the Global Initiative on Sharing All Influenza Data (GISAID). The two sequences were … Continue reading SARS-CoV-2: Finally, India shares genome sequence data with GISAID

Nipah virus outbreak exposes the chinks in Kerala’s health-care armour

If Kerala was taken by surprise last year by the first outbreak of Nipah virus infection, its recurrence this year strongly suggests that the virus is in circulation in fruit bats.  After all, a study published on May 25 this year demonstrated that fruit bat was the source of the virus. In the absence of … Continue reading Nipah virus outbreak exposes the chinks in Kerala’s health-care armour

Lessons India has not learnt on H1N1

The high H1N1 flu toll points to a failure of the government to put necessary systems and precautions in place. The number of influenza A (H1N1) virus cases and deaths reported from across India this year has already crossed 22,000 and 1,000, respectively. These are lower than the Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme, NCDC 2015 figures … Continue reading Lessons India has not learnt on H1N1

Sun Pharma, NIV to jointly test drugs for Zika, chikungunya and dengue

Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd and the National Institute of Virology (NIV), Pune signed an agreement for testing phytopharmaceutical, biologic and chemical entities developed by Sun Pharma against Zika, chikungunya and dengue viruses. Sun Pharma will provide drug molecules to NIV for testing against Zika, chikungunya and dengue viruses. “A couple of interesting phytopharmaceutical candidates against … Continue reading Sun Pharma, NIV to jointly test drugs for Zika, chikungunya and dengue

Editorial: India flounders as H1N1 spreads

  The influenza A(H1N1) virus continues to kill people in India, although its spread is not at a galloping pace. As on March 21, the number of people affected was over 32,200, and the death toll in excess of 1,900. The worst-affected States are Gujarat and Rajasthan. In Gujarat, the number of cases has crossed … Continue reading Editorial: India flounders as H1N1 spreads

Dengue nation: The rise of a viral challenge

Published in The Hindu on November 11, 2012 India plays host to all four types of the dengue virus. New scientific insight points to the role of migration of Indians in their spread. The trail of the virus covers movement of people to and from Sri Lanka, Africa and the Americas. Disturbingly, morbidity and mortality … Continue reading Dengue nation: The rise of a viral challenge