The Minister of Agriculture and Forestry, Dr. Bekir PAKDEMIRLI, visited our Institute to make an on-site examination on the SARS CoV-2 (Covid-19) Anti-Serum studies conducted by our Institute Directorate.
AN IMPORTANT STEP FOR THE COVID-19 ANTI-SERUM HAS BEEN TAKEN…
EXPERIMENTS ON ANIMALS WILL START
Within the scope of the project "Hyperimmunserum (Anti-serum) Production for Therapeutic Purposes Against COVID-19", supported by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, in cooperation with the Directorate of Etlik Veterinary Control Central Research Institute (Etlik VKMAEM) and the Directorate of Public Health of the Ministry of Health, SARS CoV-2 (COVID-19) virus was isolated in the Etlik VKMAEM Virology Diagnostic Laboratory, and studies for genetic sequencing were started. The main purpose of the project is the immediate development of Antiserum against the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which is the cause of COVID-19 disease.
Scientists continue to work against Covid-19, which has influenced the whole world and our country. Our Ministry, which has more than 100 years of experience in producing antisera, reveals once again that Veterinary Control Institutes and Turkish medical veterinarians and doctors are highly experienced in the development of antisera, which is vital in treatment.
The team consisting of veterinarians, medical doctors and biologists, including the wife of Minister of Agriculture and Forestry, Dr. Ahu PAKDEMIRLI, has come to an important stage in the activities carried out as part of the Antiserum Development Project Against Covid-19.
Virus isolation, production in large amounts and inactivation procedures were completed in a short time by a team of experts in the Biosafety Level 3 (BSL3) laboratory. Now, virus viability checks are being carried out to begin experiments on animals. After the checks, trials will begin on rabbits and horses.
During the trials, since the virus will not cause disease in animals due to inactivation, they will continue to their lives without any deterioration in their well-being. After animal trials, our institute representing the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry and Microbiology Reference Laboratories and Biological Products Department representing the Ministry of Health will cooperate to purify the obtained immunoglobulins for use in humans and the obtained antisera will be offered to the service of humanity.
OTHER STUDIES CONDUCTED WHILE CONTINUING TO ANTI-SERUM STUDIES
Etlik VKMAEM does not only work on Anti-serum project but also conducts some other projects on Covid-19. The Wildlife Unit, which was established in Etlik VKMAEM at the beginning of 2020, screens COVID-19 in samples from bats shown as a source of transmission in the city of Wuhan, where the disease occurred.
Third study is screening COVID-19 in wastewater samples. It is aimed to estimate the average of real cases in the population, based on the number of viruses obtained by screening COVID-19 in wastewater plant samples from Istanbul and Ankara.
This study is done in very few countries and is a very difficult study. The method developed in this Institute was presented as a scientific publication. https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.05.03.20089417v1.full.pdf+html
Also, routine COVID-19 test collected from environmental samples, wastewater plants and animals is performed in Etlik VKMAEM.
Turkey is one of the world's leading countries in terms of natural wealth and many aromatic medicinal plants which are also produced by our Ministry institutions for therapeutic purposes. Phytotherapy practices have been going on for many years in Anatolia. Etlik VKMAEM and Health Sciences University with a multidisciplinary perspective are working in vitro on the efficacy of some herbal extracts and essential oils on COVID-19.
"WE ARE EXPERIENCED AND SUCCESSFUL ON VIRUSES"
The Minister of Agriculture and Forestry, Dr. Bekir PAKDEMIRLI, said that they are a very important Ministry which includes veterinarians. Pakdemirli, explaining that virology is a separate division in veterinary medicine and therefore there are a lot of studies about the viruses and epidemics, said that "We have 8 Veterinary Control Institutes affiliated to our Ministry, primarily Etlik and Pendik. We are an Institution that has overcome epidemic diseases such as Rinderpest and Avian Influenza. We are very experienced and successful in diseases caused by viruses. Our colleagues work on both vaccine and serum against corona virus. I hope that important developments will be made soon".
WHO TAKES PLACE IN THE ANTI-SERUM PROJECT?
The entire project team:
The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, Director General of Food and Control, Harun SECKIN; Director General of Agricultural Research and Policies, Ozkan KAYACAN; the Ministry of Health, Director General of Public Health, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Fatih KARA; the Directorate General of Agricultural Research and Policies, the Head of Animal Health, Food and Feed Research Department, Ramazan BULBUL; the Directorate General of Food and Control, the Head of Veterinary Health Products and Public Health Department, Mustafa BEBEK; the Directorate General of Public Health, the Head of Microbiology Reference Laboratories and Biological Products Department Prof. Dr. Selcuk KILIC; Director of Etlik VKMAEM, Dr. Cevdet YARALI; Deputy Director of Etlik VKMAEM, Ozcan YILDIRIM; Etlik VKMAEM, the Head of Virological Diagnostics Laboratory, Dr. Sabri HACIOGLU; Technical Deputy Director of Etlik VKMAEM, Dr. Erdem DANYER; Head of the Viral Vaccine Production Laboratory of Etlik VKMAEM , Dr. Ozden KABAKLI and Dr. Elvin CALISKAN; Health Sciences University, Gulhane Medical Faculty, Physiology Department Faculty Member, Dr. Ahu PAKDEMIRLI and Biologist Meral SARPER; Etlik VKMAEM, the Head of Biosafety Level 3 Laboratory, Dr. Ozlem KARDOGAN; the Directorate General of Public Health, Microbiology Reference Laboratories and Biological Products Department, Specialist Veterinarian Mehmet Ali KANAT and Dr. Metin SERIN; Etlik VKMAEM, Viral Vaccine Production Laboratory Staff Züleyha ERGUN, Hakan TASKAYA and Bora UNDAR; Ankara 29 Mayıs State Hospital Chief Physician Dr. Dilek DULGER and Dr. Ummu Sena SARI; the Directorate General of Agricultural Research and Policies Staff Dr. Erkan TACBAS and Veterinarian Sahin CAKIR; the Directorate General of Food and Control Staff Dr. Gencay ERGIN; Etlik VKMAEM, the Head of Experimental Animals Department Dr. Ufuk ULKER.