Indian contribution in Vaccine development

India's vaccine R&D capacity is growing and it is now in a position to make important contributions to the development of much needed new vaccines. Now we are standing amongst the top vaccine producers of the world. Below mentioned some of the vaccines developed by India so far:

1. Plague

Plague is an infectious disease caused by a bacterium Yersinia pestis known to be transmitted through the bite of infected fleas from rodents to humans. In 1986, a plague epidemic engulfed the country. Dr Haffkine developed plague vaccine in a two-room set up provided to him by Govt. of India in Grant Medical College, Mumbai. Dr Haffkine developed plague vaccine in 1897 and it is the first vaccine developed in India. 

2. Polio

Poliomyelitis or Polio is a contagious disease cause by Poliovirus. Its infection causes nerve injury leading to paralysis, difficulty breathing and sometimes death. India developed its first indigenous Oral polio Vaccine Trivalent (Sabin) in 1970 at Pasteur Institute of India, Coonoor. In 1984 an inactivated polio vaccine was also produced but later on its production was stopped.  India has achieved polio free status in January 2011, and is maintaining it till date.

3. Rabies

Rabies is a fatal viral disease transmitted from animals to humans, caused by a lyssavirus that attacks the central nervous system, leads to convulsions, paralysis and finally death The Pasteur Institute of India (PII) produced neural tissue Anti-rabies vaccine in 1907. Later on, the same institute developed technology for the production of tissue culture based and then Vero cell derived DNA purified rabies vaccine for human use.

4. Hepatitis B

Hepatitis B is a liver infection known to be caused by the hepatitis B virus (HBV). The virus spreads when the virus containing blood, semen, or other body fluids from an infected person enters the body of someone who is not infected. During the late 1990s, an indigenous recombinant Hepatitis B vaccine was developed at IISC, Bangalore. Biological E Limited and Indian Immunologicals Limited, hyderabad carried out the necessary clinical trials, obtained the regulatory approvals, and launched the vaccine under the names BEVAC and Elovac-B, in 2004 and 2006, respectively.

5. Swine flu

H1N1 influenza, often referred to as swine flu, is one of the highly contagious respiratory disease in pigs. This virus can be transmitted to humans via contact with infected pigs or environments contaminated with swine influenza viruses. In 2009, a vaccine was developed against H1N1 virus to prevent infection caused by the pandemic. The H1N1 vaccine made from killed virus particles so a person cannot get the flu. The vaccine is made and sold in India by three manufactures of India Sanofi Pasteur, Serum Institute and Bharat Biotech.

6. Meningitis

Meningococcal meningitis is a bacterial infection of the meninges that surrounds the brain and spinal cord specifically caused by Neisseria meningitidis bacteria. The meningitis ‘A’ vaccine MenAfriVac manufactured by Serum Institute of India, Pune successfully used in African Meningitis Belt. At present two different types of meningococcal conjugate vaccines (MCVs) got approval to be used in India a quadrivalent vaccine Menactra® from Sanofi Pasteur, and another a monovalent serogroup A vaccine from Serum Institute of India (SII).

7. Cholera

Cholera is an infectious disease caused by food and water contaminated with a bacterium called Vibrio cholerae. It causes severe watery diarrhea, which sometimes lead to dehydration and even death if untreated In April 2009, Shantha Biotechnics, Hyderabad developed the first indigenous bivalent oral cholera vaccine named as Shancol which got licensed for immunization in the country. Shancol presented the affordable version of the cholera vaccine.

8. Japanese Encephalitis

Japanese encephalitis (JE) is a mosquito-borne viral infection of the brain. It may cause serious brain inflammation with a sudden headache, high fever and disorientation. In October 2013 the country got its first indigenously developed vaccine for Japanese encephalitis “JENVAC”. The vaccine was jointly developed by scientists at the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) National Institute of Virology (NIV), Pune and Bharat Biotech International Ltd.

9. Rotavirus Gastroenteritis

Rotavirus gastroenteritis is the viral infection caused by Rotavirus. It is the most common cause of severe diarrhea among infants and young children. Bharat Biotech in collaboration with the Indian government and other Indian and international partners developed ROTAVAC and launched it on May 2013. Rotavirus Vaccine is an oral Live Attenuated vaccine containing live rotavirus strain prepared in Vero cells for the prevention of rotavirus gastroenteritis.