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RGCA’s Lab is India’s First NABL Accredited Aquaculture Pathology Lab

The Central Aquaculture Pathology Laboratory of Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Aquaculture (RGCA), the Research & Development arm of MPEDA (Marine Products Export Development Authority), has now become the first aquaculture pathology laboratory in the India to be accredited by NABL (National Accreditation Board For Testing & Calibration Laboratories).

In September 2011, RGCA MPEDA started a state-of-the-art Central Aquaculture Pathology Laboratory at its HQs in Sirkali, TamilNadu. The laboratory has been attending to the aquaculture industry of India by furnishing well-timed and steadfast diagnosis of several diseases faced during the culture of finfish, shrimps and freshwater prawns. The laboratory is outfitted with all the state-of-the-art disease diagnostic tools and has 3 component units for Molecular Pathology, Histopathology and Microbiology which collectively help in diagnosis of several diseases faced by the aquaculture industry.

The laboratory manages periodical and requirement centred aquaculture disease surveillance in India for the help of the seafood export industry. All the identified diseases affecting the shrimp/prawn/ fish are identified at this laboratory which comprises the of late feared shrimp diseases viz. Early Mortality Syndrome (EMS)/ Acute Hepatopancreatic Necrosis Disease (AHPND). 

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WHO concerned about MERS virus

The WHO’s Emergency Committee for MERS-CoV has raised concerns about the sharp surge in the number of ‘Middle East Respiratory Syndrome CoronaVirus’(MERS-CoV) cases since March 2014. The sharp increase has been seen particularly in Saudi Arabia and in the United Arabian Emirates. The Emergency Committee has advised a number of measures to be urgently taken, including better national policies for infection prevention and control in healthcare facilities.

Since the virus was first detected in humans 2 years back, a total of 152 people have now died and 495 have been confirmed to have contracted the virus in Saudi Arabia. Recently, cases have also been reported from Egypt, Greece, Malaysia, Philippines, and the U.S. in which infected individuals had travelled there from the Middle East.

Although it is known that the virus is widespread in camels in the Middle East and north-east Africa, it is yet to be ascertained how transmission from animals to humans takes place. As MERS-CoV causes mostly respiratory disease in humans, the common thinking is that such transmission takes place via a respiratory route.

It is also speculated that milking a camel exposes the milker and those around them, as well as the drinker of fresh frothy milk, to an aerosol which may contain MERS-CoV. The WHO has called for studies to better understand the epidemiology of the disease and risk factors related to the spread of the virus.

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