Dr. Nitin Virmani

Dr. Nitin Virmani
Designation: Head, Division of Equine Health
Field of Specialization: Veterinary Pathology


  • Doctor Of Philosophy in Veterinary Pathology with a minor of Biotechnology and
    Molecular Biology; CCS Haryana Agricultural University, Hisar 125 004, Haryana, India;
    May, 2003
  • Master of Veterinary Sciences in Veterinary Pathology with minor of Veterinary
    Bacteriology; Indian Veterinary Research Institute, Izatnagar, Bareilly, U.P., India; July,
  • Bachelor of Veterinary Sciences and Animal Husbandry: Haryana Agricultural
    University, Hisar; Haryana, India, August, 1986 to February, 1991.

Research Interests:Dr Nitin Virmani’s prime areas of research interest include equine influenza and equine herpes virus infections. He is currently working on development of deletion mutants for EHV1 and equine influenza viruses with a focus on studying host pathogen interaction and development of live attenuated vaccine for EHV1. He has been instrumental in generating bacterial artificial chromosome of EHV-1 and recombinant virus of equine influenza through reverse genetics approach, which will be a great asset for development of next generation recombinant vaccines. The principal outcome of the research work on ‘Equine Rhinopneumonitis and Equine Influenza’ encompasses development of inactivated vaccines against EHV1 and EI, diagnostics and the molecular characterization of field isolates. The Vaccine for EI and EHV1 and a recombinant protein base ELISA kit for differentiation of EHV1/4 have already been released by ICAR. He developed a mouse model for equine influenza which is a global first and internationally accepted. A team under his leadership successfully completed an International OIE funded twinning research project on Equine Influenza with Animal Health Trust, United Kingdom.

Recent research papers in last five years

1. Taruna Anand, B.C.Bera, Nitin Virmani, R.K.Vaid, Medhavi Vashisht, B.N.Tripathi (2018). Isolation and characterization of a novel, T7 like phage against Aeromonas veronii. Virus Genes 54 (1), 160-164.
2. Anand T, Virmani N, Vaid RK, Bera B, Ahlawat U, & Tripathi B. Isolation and Characterization of A Bacillus Phage from Equine Carcass Disposal Site. Defence Life Science Journal, 4(1), 61-66. https://doi.org/10.14429/dlsj.4.13082.
3. Vaid RK, Shanmugasundaram K, Anand T, Bera B C, Tigga M, Dedar R, T Riyesh, N Virmani, B N Tripathi and Singh R K. (2018). Characterization of isolates of Bordetella bronchiseptica from horses in India: Antimicrobial, biochemical and molecular characterization. J. Equine Science 2018;29(1):25-31. doi: 10.1294/jes.29.25. Epub 2018 Mar 23.
4. Singh, R.K., Dhama, Kuldeep, Kumaragurubaran Karthik, Khandia, Rekha, Munjal Ashok, Khurana, S.K., Chakraborty, Sandip, Malik, Yashpal S., Virmani, Nitin, Singh, Rajendra, Tripathi, B.N., Munir, Muhammad, Vander Kolk Johannes (2018) A Comprehensive Review on Equine Influenza Virus: Etiology, Epidemiology, Pathobiology, Advances in Developing Diagnostics, Vaccines, and Control Strategies. Front. Microbiol., 06 September 2018 https://doi.org/10.3389/fmicb.2018.01941
5. Selvaraj Pavulraj, Nitin Virmani, Bidhan Chandra Bera, Alok Joshi, Taruna Anand, Meenakshi Virmani, Rajendra Singh, Raj Kumar Singh, Bhupendra Nath Tripathi (2017). Immunoenecity and protective efficacy of inactivated equine influenza (H3N8) virus vaccine in murine model. Veterinary Microbiology. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.vetmic.2017.08.013
6. Bera BC, Virmani Nitin, Kumar N, Anand T, Pavulraj S, Rash A, Elton D, Rash N, Bhatia S, Sood R, Singh RK, Tripathi BN.(2017). Genetic and codon usage bias analyses of polymerase genes of equine influenza virus and its relation to evolution. BMC Genomics. 2017 Aug 23;18(1):652. doi: 10.1186/s12864-017-4063-1.
7. R.K.Dedar, Nitin Virmani, R.K.Vaid, Clinicopathlogical findings of an episode of mycotoxicosis in equines. Equine Vet. Education (Accepted)
8. Yadav Naveen, Bera, B.C., Selvaraj Pavulraj, Anand Taruna, Tripathi, B.N. and Virmani Nitin (2016). Revelation of influencing factors in overall codon usage bias of equine influenza viruses. PLoS ONE 11(4):e0154376. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0154376
9. Gayathri Anagha, Baldev Raj Gulati, Thachamvally Riyesh, Nitin Virmani (2016). Genetic characterization of equine herpesvirus 1 isolates from abortion outbreaks in India. Archives of Virology DOI 10.1007/s00705-016-3097-z
10. Taruna Anand, Bidhan Ch. Bera, Rajesh K. Vaid, Sanjay Barua, Thachamvally Riyesh, Nitin Virmani, Mubarik Hussain, Raj K Singh, Bhupendra N Tripath Abundance of antibiotic resistance genes in environmental bacteriophages. Journal of General Virology doi:10.1099/jgv.0.000639
11. Selvaraj Pavulraj, Bera, B.C., Alok Joshi, Anand Taruna, Virmani Meenakshi, Vaid, R.K., Shanmugasundaram, K., Singh Rajendra, Singh, R.K., Tripathi, B.N. and Virmani Nitin (2015). Pathology of equine influenza virus (H3N8) belonging to Clade 2 of Florida sublineage in BALB/c mouse model. PLoS ONE (11):e0143094. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0143094.
12. Parveen Kumar, Rakesh Kumar, Balvinder Kumar Manuja, Harisankar Singha, Anshu Sharma, Nitin Virmani, Suresh Chandra Yadav, Anju Manuja (2015) CpG-ODN Class C Mediated Immunostimulation in Rabbit Model of Trypanosoma evansi Infection. PlosOne DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.012743.
13. Vaid RK, Jindal N, Anand T, Bera BC, Riyesh T, Virmani N, Barua S, Gupta R, Mahajan NK, Joshi CG, Singh RK (2015). First Draft Genome Sequence of Salmonella enterica Serovar Gallinarum Strain VTCCBAA614, Isolated from Chicken in India. Genome Announc. pii: e01221-15. doi: 10.1128/genomeA.01221-15.
14. Anand, T., Vaid, R.K., Bera, B. C., Sanjay Barua, Riyesh, T., Virmani, N., Yadav N., and Malik, P. 2014. Isolation and characterization of a bacteriophage with broad host range, displaying potential in preventing bovine diarrhoea. Virus Genes Virus Genes. 2015 Oct;51(2):315-21. doi: 10.1007/s11262-015-1222-9. Epub 2015 Jul 15. PubMed PMID: 26174698.
15. Anand, T., Vaid, R.K., Bera, B. C., Singh Jitender, K., Barua, Sanjay, Virmani, N., K Rajukumar, Yadav, Neeraj, Nagar Dinesh, Singh, R.K., Tripathi, B.N. 2014Isolation of a lytic bacteriophage against virulent Aeromonas hydrophila from an organized equine farm. Journal of Basic Microbiology 55, 1–6.
16. B. C. Bera. S. Barua. K. Shanmugasundaram . T. Anand. T. Riyesh. R. K. Vaid. N. Virmani. S. Kundu. N. K. Yadav. .P. Malik. R. K. Singh. 2015. Genetic characterization and phylogenetic analysis of host-range genes of Camelpox virus isolates from India. Virus Disease 26(3):151-62. doi: 10.1007/s13337-015-0266-8.
17. Kumar, R., Kumar, S., Virmani, N. and Yadav, S.C. 2015. Transplacental transmission of Trypanosoma evansi from experimentally donkey mare to neonatal foal. Journal of Equine Veterinary Science, 35: 337-341.
18. Riyesh T, Karuppusamy S, Bera BC, Barua S, Virmani N, Yadav S, Vaid RK, Anand T, Bansal M, Malik P, Pahuja I, Singh RK. Laboratory-acquired buffalopox virus infection, India. Emerg Infect Dis. 2014; 20(2):324-6.
19. Anand, T., Bera, B. C., Vaid, R.K., Shanmugasundaram, K., Sharma, G., Virmani, N., Shukla, B. N., Barua, S. and Singh, R.K. 2014. Molecular characterization of virulence-associated protein (Vap) family genes of pathogenic Rhodococcus equi isolates from clinical cases of Indian equines. Ind. J. Biotech., 13: 195-202.
20. Vaid, R. K., Shanmugasundaram, K., Boora, A., Bera, B. C., Shukla, B. N., Anand, T., Singha, H., Riyesh, T., Virmani, N., Barua, S., Ahir, V. B., Koringa, P.G. Sajnani, M. R., Bhat, V. D., Rana, N., Singh, K. P., Malik, P., Singh, R. K. and Joshi, C.G. 2014. Draft Genome Sequence of Pasteurella multocida subsp. multocida B:2 Strain VTCCBAA264 Isolated from Bubalus bubalis in North India. Genome Announc. 2(4): e00755-14. doi:10.1128/genomeA. 00755-14.
21. T Anand, B C Bera, Riyesh T, R K Vaid, S Barua, Nitin Virmani, Praveen Malik, D Kumar, P S Yadav and R K Singh.2013. Cytopathogenicity of buffalopox and camelpox virus in buffalo fibroblast cells. Indian Journal of Animal Sciences, 83 (12): 1256–1260.
22. Bera BC, Virmani N, Shanmugasundaram, Vaid RK, Singh BK, Gulati BR, Anand T, Barua S, Malik P and Singh RK. 2013. Genetic Analysis of the Neuraminidase (NA) Gene of Equine Influenza Virus (H3N8) from Epizootic of 2008-2009 in India. Indian Journal of Virology 24: 256-264 DOI 10.1007/s13337-013-0137-0
23. Praveen Malik, Harisankar Singha,Sachin K Goyal, Sandip. K. Khurana, Rajender Kumar, Nitin Virmani, Kuruppusamy Shanmugasundaram, Shasti B Pandey, Ravi Kant, Birendra K Singh and Raj K Singh. (2013). Sero-surveillance of equine infectious anemia virus in equines in India during more than a decade (1999-2012) Indian J. Virology. DOI 10.1007/s 13337-013-0142-3
24. Singha H, Gulati BR, Kumar P, Singh BK, Virmani N and Singh RK. 2013. Complete genome sequence analysis of Japanese encephalitis virus isolated from a horse in India. Arch. Virol 158:113-122.

Technologies developed/ patented:

List of technologies developed

  • Inactivated vaccine against Equine Influenza
  • Inactivated vaccine against Equine Herpes Virus 1 infection
  • A monoclonal antibody-based blocking ELISA kit developed for detection of EHV1 infection
  • Recombinant protein based ELISA for differentiation of EHV1 and EHV4 infections

Awards/ Fellowships

  • 2018: Awarded fellowship of Indian Association of Veterinary Pathologists during the National Convention of Veterinary Sciences held at College of Veterinary Sciences, Tirupati on 4-5 Nov, 2017
  • 2017: Awarded fellowship of National Academy of Veterinary Sciences during the National Convention of Veterinary Sciences held at College of Veterinary Sciences, Tirupati on 4-5 Nov, 2017
  • 2017: Recombinant protein based ELISA kit for differentiation of EHV1/4 released on ICAR Foundation day by Hon’ble Minister of Agriculture, Govt of India.
  • 2016: Successfully cleared Diplomate Examination of Indian College of Veterinary Pathologists
  • 2016: Inactivated Updated Equine Influenza vaccine developed by our team (Nitin Virmani et al.) was released by Dr T.Mohapatra, Director General, ICAR in August, 2016
  • 2015: Young scientist award for the paper entitled “Pathology of equine influenza vaccine (H3N8) and vaccine efficacy studies in novel small animal model” by Indian association of Veterinary Pathologists
  • 2015: Best M.V.Sc Thesis Award conferred by Indian association of Veterinary Pathologists to my student Dr Pavul Raj for work on ‘Development of mouse model for equine influenza’
  • 2015: Inactivated EHV-1 vaccine “Equiherpabort” developed by our team (B.K.Singh, Nitin Virmani and B.R.Gulati) has been released by ICAR in February, 2015 at its Annual General Body meeting by Hon’ble Minister of Agriculture
  • 2015: Selected as National Expert for OIE Adhoc Group from India as per intimation from ICAR vide letter AS/3/31/2013/ASR.IV
  • 2013 onwards: Member of Expert Surveillance Panel meeting on Equine Influenza for vaccine strain selection organized by OIE
  • 2014: Invited for Expert Surveillance Panel meeting on Equine Influenza for vaccine strain selection organized by OIE at their head quarters in Paris, France on 4th March, 2014. Meeting was attended by heads of select laboratories working in the area of Equine Influenza across the globe.
  • 2012: OIE approved the twinning proposal between NRCE, India and Animal Health Trust, UK on equine influenza was commissioned from October 2012 for a period of three years.
  • 2011: A paper authored by Bera, B.C. Virmani N, Shanmugasundaram, K., Gulati, B.R., Singh BK and Singh RK entitled “Molecular epidemiology of equine influenza viruses from 2008-09 outbreaks in India” was awarded Ist prize in XX National Conference of Indian Virological Society, held at National Research Centre on Equines during December 29-31, 2011
  • 2011: A paper authored by Singha H, Gulati BR, Kumar P, Virmani N, Singh BK and Singh RK entitled “Complete genome analysis of a Japanese encephalitis virus isolated from a horse in India” was awarded second prize in XX National Conference of Indian Virological Society, held at National Research Centre on Equines during December 29-31, 2011
  • 2009: Best Poster-II award in XV Annual Convention & National Symposium on “Recent approaches in Veterinary Immunology and Biotechnology for Animal Health and Production” Feb 26-28, 2009 at Deptt. of Veterinary Microbiology, College of Veterinary Sciences, CCS HAU.
  • 2006: Equiherpes B-ELISA kit developed and released by honourable Secretary, DARE and DG ICAR.
  • 2005: Gang Mana Sharma Award for best article on pack animals in Indian Journal of Veterinary Pathology Indian Association of Veterinary Pathologists, entitled “Immunohistochemical diagnosis of Equine Herpes Virus-1 infection employing microwave irradiation for reducing the processing time.” Indian Journal of Veterinary Pathology28 (1)
  • 2004: Awarded Dr.Patri Rama Rao best Ph.D thesis award – Conferred by Indian Association of Veterinary Pathologists
  • 2001: Awarded Senior Research Fellowship from Indian Council of Agricultural Research for Ph.D degree in Veterinary Pathology
  • 1994: Secured top position in Agricultural Scientist Recruitment Board Examination for the post of Scientist in Indian Council of Agricultural Research
  • 1994: Qualified National Eligibility Test (NET) in the discipline of Veterinary Pathology for the eligibility for Lecturership/ Assistant Professorship in the State and Central Agricultural Universities
  • 1991: Awarded Indian Council of Agricultural Research (Indian Veterinary Research Institute) Junior Research fellowship, 1991-1993 for Masters Program


    • Life member- Indian Association of Veterinary Pathologists
    • Life Member- Indian Society of Veterinary Immunology and Biotechnology
    • Life member- Indian Association of Veterinary Microbiologists, Immunologists and Specialists in Infectious Diseases, Bareilly
    • Life Member- Society for Immunology and Immunopathology, Bareilly
    • Life member- Delhi Veterinary Council

Students guided (Master’s & PhD):Masters: 3, Ph.D.: 2

Ongoing Research Project

Externally funded projects

  • Extra mural grant of ICAR awarded for the project: Pathogenecity and immunogenicity of recombinant neurogenic and non neurogenic mutant equine herpesvirus 1 (in tissue explants and murine model) and their potential as vaccine candidate(s) (As PI)
  • CRP on development of diagnostics and vaccines for EHV-1 (As PI)
  • North East Region DBT Project Establishment of Advanced Animal Disease
    Diagnosis and Service Management Centers in the North East (ADMaC)”As Co-Coordinator

Institute-funded Research Projects

  • Development of recombinant EHV1 viruses employing bacterial artificial chromosome mediated mutagenesis and their pathological valuation in murine model (As PI)
  • Development of bacteriophage repository and exploring the therapeutic potential of phages and their encoded endolysins (As Co-PI)
  • Epidemiology of existing and emerging diseases in equines (As Co-PI)
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