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A memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed between ICAR-CIBA and M/s Aura Biotechnologies Private Limited, Chennai on 11th May 2017 for the transfer of technology of a DNA based nested-Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) diagnostic kit for the detection of lethal shrimp pathogen White Spot Syndrome Virus (WSSV). The White spot disease (WSD) can inflict upto 100% mortality causing severe economic loss to the penaeid shrimp farming industry. Improved WSSV diagnostic PCR technology developed at ICAR-CIBA is simple, sensitive, cost effective and users friendly diagnostic kit. The kit has been extensively tested in various laboratories and marketed through ‘Aura Biotechnologies Limited, Chennai’. Since the disease spreads through both vertical and horizontal route, the kit is expected to help hatchery owners to select disease free brood stock and produce quality seeds. Similarly, the kit is expected to help the shrimp farmers in selecting the disease free larvae for stocking, and early detection and effective management of the crops. Achieving biosecurity or pathogen exclusion is one of the most important measures for the prevention and management of this dreaded disease in shrimp aquaculture.

During the signing of MOU, in his introductory remarks Dr.K.K.Vijayan, Director, ICAR-CIBA emphasized the need for smart indigenous diagnostic kits for their use in hatcheries and farmers. He mentioned that the CIBA’s PCR kit launched, about 15 years back was a game changer with regard to cost benefit to the shrimp farming community in India and the kit being commercialized now is also very cost effective and will cater to the need of the PCR laboratories and shrimp hatcheries catering to the shrimp aquaculture sector in the country. Further, he thanked Dr. Pazhanimuthu Annamali of ‘Aura Biotechnologies Limited’ for coming forward to take the CIBA’s technology. Dr. Dhinakar Raj G, Project Director, Translational Research Platform for Veterinary Biologicals (TRPVB), CAHS, TANUVAS, Madhavaram Milk Colony, Chennai was the chief guest of the program and emphasised the role of quality diagnostic kits in management of infectious diseases both in aquatic and terrestrial animals. He further emphasised that the outlook of scientist and academicians has changed over the years from “publish or perish” to “patent or perish” to the present days “commercialize or perish” to contribute to the development of the society. Dr. Pazhanimuthu Annamalai Managing Director, Aura Biotechnologies Limited expressed his appreciation to CIBA for the transfer of this technology, which is required by the shrimp farming industry. A prototype of the kit was also released by the chief guest during the program.
Dr.T. Ravisankar, Principal Scientist and In-Charge, Institute Technology Management-Agricultural Business Incubator Unit proposed the vote of thanks and assured all possible help to client to promote the technology to the stakeholders. Earlier, Dr.P.K.Patil, Senior Scientist welcomed the guests and introduced the dignitaries to the audience.