As per OIE 60% of known human diseases are having the origin of the animal source . The world wide incidence of zoonoses is of great concern more so over for developing countries. At global landscape, we are facing emergence and re-emergence of zoonotic diseases. The pandemic of animal origin diseases like swine flu, avian flu, SARS etc have its own impact, along with the threat of bioterrorism. Disease outbreaks and zoonotic nature of diseases in developing countries like India have a very devastating socio-economic impact on the farmers, persons involved in related occupation and the people consuming animal products and byproducts. The present scenario of climate change, drug resistant microbes and immune escape mutants, are evolving at faster rate and leading to these outbreaks. The occurrence of these outbreaks indicates the insufficient efforts for early diagnosis and prevention, and lack of optimum prophalytic measures. At present, the turnaround time between referring clinical samples to concern laboratories and to get the confirmatory report is long, by that time the infection spreads to large area leading to an outbreak..
In recent years, a One Health (OH) approach to manage endemic and emerging/ re-emerging zoonotic diseases has been promoted by international human and animal health agencies. In Indian context, in order to achieve OH, owing to shared interests in research activities pertaining to the area of zoonoses, Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) and Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) have come together in collaboration with MAFSU for addressing Zoonoses. In the year 2014-15 ICAR under Niche Area of Excellence the ICAR has funded the project titled "Centre for Zoonoses" at Nagpur Veterinary College, Nagpur with its establishment at Department of Veterinary Public Health.
With a total budget outlay for Rs. 437.848 lakh granted by the ICAR, the centre is working in collaboration with its medical partners Central India Institute of Medical Sciences (CIIMS) , Nagpur and Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences (MGIMS), Sewagram who are parallel funded by the ICMR, New Delhi. With the goal "One health concept- A targeted, multi-disciplinary and multi-sectoral efforts to mitigate the effects of zoonoses on human and animal health".
The Centre is committed to work on the important zoonotic diseases viz., Brucellosis, Leptospirosis, Listeriosis, Tuberculosis, Scrub typhus and Rota Viral diarrhoea in the study area of 'Central India' including Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and part of Telangana. The centre has been established and equipped with ultra modern facilities of Vitek 2, BacT Alert, MALDI-TOF, Biosafety cabinet (Class II B2 with virus burn out unit and 100% exhaust), Sonicator, ELISA test reader, automated Gram staining machine, Inverted microscope, Dark field microscope, Fluorescent microscope , CO2 incubator, Deep freezers (-20 & -80oC) etc. It is actively conducting the research in the field of serology, molecular surveillance/epidemiology, genomics, and metagenomics.
The centre has also developed linkages with other National institutes and research centres viz., NIVEDI, Bengaluru, NIHSAD, Bhopal, Indian Veterinary Research Institute , Izatnagar, Kasturba Medical College, Manipal, , NIBSM, Raipur, State Animal Husbandry Department, Govt. of Maharashtra, Indira Gandhi Government Medical College, Nagpur, Government Medical College, Nagpur, National Institute of Epidemiology, Chennai etc.
Apart from the research on the zoonotic diseases, the Centre has a major mandate of 'Capacity building' for the scientists, researchers, health professionals, wild life experts, environmental scientists , academicians and equivalent cadre under which three National level training and hands on programs for 65 trainees on 'molecular diagnostics' and 'Epidemiology' have been conducted. Further a National Symposium on “Concepts in Zoonoses & Health in New Millennium” in collaboration with Society for Research on Listeria was also organised. The centre in collaboration with its medical partners is regularly conducting awareness campaigns and diagnostic camps for the livestock owners, farmers and animal handlers at various destinations. The progress of the Centre has been appreciated by the funding agency ICAR, New Delhi. The 'Centre for Zoonoses' at Nagpur Veterinary College, has contributed as a step forward for establishment of 'National Institute for Zoonoses' at Nagpur.
ajor facilities/infrastructure available:
(Microbial Identification based on MS proteomics)
Epidemic of Scrub typhus in Nagpur and adjoining districts:
In the month of August-September, 2018 around 300 patients with high grade fever were admitted in various government hospitals in Nagpur and adjoining district like Yeotmal. A few of them had ischars as well . Of these about 24 died during treatment. The samples from these patients were forwarded to this Centre wherein based on the clinical signs and the history we processed them for Scrub Typhus employing PCR, ELISA, IFA as well as qPCR. The patients revealed positivity for Orientia tsutsugamushi. The confirm diagnosis could initiate proper treatment and save human lives.
The episode formulated the team with NCDC, New Delhi and IDC, Pune for detailed investigation. The places from where the human patients were reported viz., Jalalkheda, Kalmeshwar were visited as an expert. The Medical Officer and the health personals from the region were explained the protective measures, the people from the region were also made aware about the protective measures to be taken. The field of the patient was visited for sighting rat burrows. The people were demonstrated with putting the traps for the rats. The health authorities were also sensitised about educating the PHCs with respect to the contact with the rodents and the tall grass in the field.
On subsequent days the rats trapped from the region were shifted to the Centre for Zoonoses. The rat (Rattus rattus) was anesthetized by taking it in a glass jar added with few drops of chloroform. After anesthetizing the rat was carefully observed for presence of mites on its skin surface. No mites were observed on skin of the rat. Dissection was carried out by taking rat on ventral side. The heart blood was collected in EDTA vial and stored at -200C. The organs; spleen, liver and kidney were collected and stored at -200C. Then the skin was removed and observed under zoom stereoscope for presence of mites. It was found that the mites were firmly attached to the internal ear. Both the ears were infested with mites. The mites were yellowish in colour with few of them red coloured. The perianal region did not show any presence of mites. The mites when observed under zoom stereoscope had three pairs of legs and few were alive. The mites were removed from the ear canal using 21 G hypodermic needle and transferred into PBS. Overall 25 mites were collected. Two mites were transferred to 70% alcohol for fixation. These mites were taken on a glass slide in Hoyer’s Solution and cover slip was placed. The slide was warmed over spirit lamp for 5 sec and after cooling at room temp the edges of cover slip were sealed with nail polish. The slide was observed under low power of microscope and photographs were taken. The mites was identified as larva of Leptotrombidium spp. (Chigger mites).
Brief of the research Achievements:
The financial assistance from the Indian Council of Agricultural Research, New Delhi under Niche Area of Excellence is dully acknowledged.