The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR)’s research centre in Puducherry has developed a technology to produce Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis (Bti strain VCRC B-17), a strain of bacteria that kills mosquito and black fly larvae without harming other animals.
The Bti bacteria has been in use for decades for mosquito control and is considered safe for other animals and the environment.
This will help India in its battle with vector-borne health problems such as Jungle fever, Filariasis, Japanese Sleeping Sickness, Dengue, Chikungunya, as well as Zika.
Dr Ashwani Kumar, director of ICMR’s Vector Control Research Centre, said, “The uniqueness is that it kills only mosquito and blackfly larvae and harms no other insects, aquatic fauna or mammals. VCRC’s Bti technology is equivalent to the WHO standard strain of bacteria in terms of its effectiveness. Our Bti B-17 strain is extensively tested and is now designated as the Indian Standard strain by the Central Insecticide Board of India. So far, this technology has been licensed to 21 companies.”
The commercial production of Bti is a shot in the arm for India’s fight against vector-borne diseases such as malaria, filariasis, Japanese encephalitis, dengue, chikungunya and zika.
Last month, Union health minister Mansukh Mandaviya handed over the Bti technology to Hindustan Insecticides Ltd for commercial production and use in India.
Experts said mosquito control programmes relied heavily on chemical insecticides for almost a century. “Apart from environmental concerns, the development of resistance to chemical insecticides in mosquitoes and black flies is a major impediment to their control and the diseases transmitted by these vectors. Hence in recent times, the focus has been shifted to the use of biocontrol agents such as Bti,” Dr Kumar said.
The Globe Health And Wellness Company (THAT) approximates that vector-borne health problems represent greater than 17% of all transmittable conditions, eliminating over 700,000 individuals every year. They can be prompted by bloodsuckers, microorganisms, or infections.
In India, the expected market dimension for Bti modern technology mores than 1000 crore annually. India is currently intending to export Bti modern technology considering that the globe’s exotic as well as subtropical areas have a high problem of mosquito-borne health problems, in addition to black flies, which send river loss of sight in African nations.
The state-owned company means to offer Bti bio-larvicides to exotic as well as subtropical areas afflicted by mosquito-borne health problems as well as black flies, which spread out river loss of sight in African nations.