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Friday, 19 July 2013

ICMR to set up advanced centre on zoonosis to review priorities & transmission of zoonotic diseases

The Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR), in collaboration with the Indian Council of Agriculture Research (ICAR) will set up an advanced centre on zoonosis for reviewing constantly the priorities and transmission of zoonotic diseases.
ICMR and ICAR will set up the centre, as part of the joint programme already launched to strengthen the research programmes on zoonosis.  Various zoonotic diseases are important public health problems in India. Because of the proximity of the animals and humans, the country requires a well focused research programme to generate knowledge for public health interventions, according to the proposal.
The centre, planned to be set up during the current Five Year Plan period itself, will suggest implementation measures for control of zoonotic infections. Another centre being planned by the ICMR is a Centre for Advanced Research on Genetic Study of Lysosomal Storage Disorders.
“There are about 50 different types of storage disorders sharing common pathogenesis: a genetic defect in a specific lysosomal enzyme, receptor target, activator protein, membrane protein or transporter that causes accumulation of specific substrates. Though individually rare, the combined incidences are 1:5000 to 1:7000 and are likely to be higher for India due to high population rate and consanguineous marriages in many ethnic groups. Missed or delayed and erroneous diagnosis of storage disorders exert an enormous toll on affected patients, families and healthcare providers. Therefore, early and accurate diagnosis is essential to provide specific therapy before the development of irreversible injury,” according to the proposal.
“Enzyme replacement therapy (ERT) once thought as incurable can now be treated with success like Gaucher, Pompe, Fabry and Niemann Pick B. However, it is very important to identify the disease at an early stage before it progresses to neurological impairment. It is thus proposed to set up an advanced centre which will cater to the needs of the patients from various parts of the country and carry out research, provide service including prenatal diagnosis and training opportunities to researchers interested in carrying out biochemical or molecular investigations in LSDs,” the proposal said.
A zoonosis is an infectious disease that is transmitted between species (sometimes by a vector) from animals other than humans to humans or from humans to other animals (the latter is sometimes called reverse zoonosis or anthroponosis).


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