Dr. Ashok Gupta

Principal Scientist (Animal Biochemistry)

E-mail ID : akguptanrce@hotmail.com



 Area of Research Interests:

                     Presently working in the field of  Equine Production, specially breed characterization at molecular levels and optimization of production aspects.



Dr. Ashok Gupta, born on 8th Oct., 1955 at Nabha (Dist. Patiala, Punjab), did his schooling from Ideal school and Govt. Hr. Secondary school, Hisar. Hhe got his Bachelors degree (Science) in 1975 from Govt. College, Hisar. He obtained his Master's and Doctorate degree (Biochemistry) in 1978 and 1989, respectively from Haryana Agricultural University, Hisar (Haryana), India. He started his scientific career in 1978 as ARS Scientist S-1 (Biochemistry) at Central Arid Zone Research Institute, Jodhpur.

Research Projects:

1.        Characterization of indigenous, non-descript and geographically distinct donkeys (As PI).

2.        Cloning, Expression and Characterization of equine chorionic gonadotropin (eCG) (As Co-PI).

3.        AICRP on utilization of animal energy with enhanced system efficiency (As Co-PI).


Research Achievements at NRCE that can be reflected on the web site:

In a span of 33 years, he has contributed appreciably both in Equine Health and Production. For his valuable contributions in the field of vaccine development against equine influenza virus, he along with other team members was awarded 'One Time Special Award' in July,1998 by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research, New Delhi . His work on disease diagnosis and animal production aspects has also been appreciated and awarded at different scientific fora. He is also a life member of nine National scientific societies.

He has contributed significantly in development of three technologies namely 1) Indigenous Equine Influenza Vaccine, 2) A field oriented diagnostic ELISA kit for detection of HV-1 antibodies in equines and 3) Pregnancy diagnostic kit.  Recently developed 'Pregmare kit' is for early pregnancy diagnosis in horse mares for the benefit of equine owners.

Dr. Gupta has about 88 research papers published both in International and National Journals, four chapters in books and has also edited a book 'Shalihotra' (in Hindi) related to equines. Dr. Gupta has also guided four Ph.D and eleven M.Sc or M.V.Sc students for their thesis work.

He had also been to Animal Health Trust, Newmarket, U.K in 1989, 1991 and 1995 for specialized training on Equine Biotechnology and Influenza vaccine development under ODA funded Indo-UK collaborative research project on "Equine Influenza."  Presently he is working as Principal Scientist (Animal Biochemistry) at National Research Centre on Equines, Hisar. He has contributed appreciably both in equine health and production areas.

He has received one patent "A method for preparation of diagnostic kit useful for forecasting equine herpes virus-1". Another patent entitled "A kit for detection of pregnancy in equines and assay thereof" has also been filed vide application no Del/705/2006.

He has recently characterized all the six registered indigenous horse and pony breeds for their phenotypic and genetic characteristics for adopting their conservation and breeding planning

Presently, he is working on molecular studies related to characterization of different indigenous breeds of horses and donkeys in India.


Success Stories, if any:


PREGMARE - Sandwich ELISA based Kit for Pregnancy diagnosis in mares


Pregmare  a serum based sandwich ELISA kit for pregnancy diagnosis (PD) in horse mares   is novel aid for use in equine production for early pregnancy diagnosis. This kit is a boon where pregnancy diagnostic services   per-rectum palpation or ultrasonography   are not available. This is an early pregnancy kit which can be used for pregnancy diagnosis between 35 to 120 days of gestation in mares covered by horse stallions. This kit detects concentration of PMSG or eCG hormone in serum, which is released after conception (after about 30 days of gestation) from the endometrial cups in pregnant mares. This ELISA test is rapid, sensitive, specific, reliable and animal friendly. It can be used both for pregnancy diagnosis and fetal viability in pregnant mares. Economically, it is very beneficial to the poor equine owners as cost per test is quite low as compared to ultrasound scanning fee. This kit has already been tested with more than 4500 serum samples and is in use for the last four years for pregnancy diagnosis. In view of the low cost and bivalent use, this kit is better than other commercial available kits. With one kit, 72 single serum samples can be tested.

This kit is quite beneficial to equine owners as it has an economic impact and viability. Usually for pregnancy diagnosis, equine breeders/owners rely on expertise of a veterinarian which is some time not accurate if the pregnancy is of less than 40 days. In this situation, the farmers may miss one reproductive cycle or thereof and may incur economic losses. As one healthy foal may attract a price of Rs. 20000 to 40000 depending of breed characteristics.  Missing one or two reproductive cycle will certainly reduce the number of foal born per reproductive life of the mare which is directly related to economic loss to the owner and jeopardize the sole purpose of equine husbandry. This kit has good scope both in developing and developed countries.


Patent obtained


A.         An Indian Patent entitled "A method for preparation of a diagnostic kit useful for forecasting equine herpes virus-1 disease"  has been obtained in 2003 for application no 2199/Del/96. This has been granted and notified on Oct., 25th 2003 in Gazette of India, classified as 55E 1891278 with patent number as 191278.


Patent Application submitted


B.         Submitted a Patent Application entitled "A kit for detection of pregnancy in equines and assay thereof" to Patent Office, New Delhi vide application no. Del/705/2006 


Publications of the last five years:


Chauhan, M., Gupta, A. K. and Dhillon, S. (2011). Genetic diversity and population structure of three Indian horse breeds. Mol. Biol Rep 38:3505,3511

Minakshi, P., Prasad, G. and Gupta, A. (2011). Characterization of buffalo rotaviruses using DNA probes. International Journal of Applied Engineering Research (ISSN -973-4562) 6(5): 687-690.

Pal, Yash, Legha, R.A., Thakur, Y. P., Gupta, A. K. and Singh, R. K. (2011). Socio-economic status of Spiti horse owners vis-a-vis horse management in native land Indian Vet Practitioner 12(1): 73-7

Pallavi R, Roy, Nainita Nageshan RK, Talukdar P, Pavithra SR, Reddy R, Venketesh S, Goel, R.K., Gupta AK, Singh RK, Yadav SC, Tatu U. 2010. Heat shock protein 90 as a drug target against protozoan infections: biochemical characterization of HSP90 from Plasmodium falciparum and Trypanosoma evansi and evaluation of its inhibitor as a candidate drug. J Biol Chem. 2010 Dec 3;285(49):37964-75. (Epub 2010 Sep 13)

Virmani, N., Bera, B. C., Gulati, B. R., Karuppusamy, S., Singh, B. K., Khurana, S. K., Singh, J., Manju, A., Dedar, R., Gupta, A. K., Yadav, S. C., Chugh, P. K., Narwal, P.S., Thankur, V.L.N., Kaul, R., Kanani, A., Rautmare, S. K. and Singh, R. K. (2010). Descriptive epidemiology of equine influenza in India (2008-2009): temporal and spatial trends. Veterinaria Italiana 46 (4): 449-458.

Yadav .S. C., Kumar, Rajender, Kumar, Sanjay, Tatu, U., Singh, R. K. and Gupta, A. K. (2010). Identification and Characterization of cysteine proteinases Trypanosoma evansi Parasitol Res.DOI 10.1007/s00436-011-2284-9.

Nainita Roy., Rishi Kumar Nageshan., Rani Pallavi, Harshini Chakravarthy, Syama Chandran, Rajender Kumar, Ashok Kumar Gupta, Raj Kumar Singh, Suresh Chandra Yadav, Utpal Tatu1. (2010). Proteomics of Trypanosoma evansi Infection in Rodents. PLoS ONE  5: 1-10.

Virmani, N., Bera, B.C., Singh, B.K., Shanmugasundaram, K., Gulati, B. R., Barua, S., Vaid, R.K., Gupta A.K., and Singh RK.(2010). Equine influenza outbreak in India (2008-09): Virus isolation, sero-epidemiology and phylogenetic analysis of HA gene. Vet. Microbiology 143:224-237.

Bansal,R.S., yash Pal, Pareek, P. K. and Gupta, A. K. (2009). Progesterone profile during various physiological stages in mares. Indian Vet. J. 86:481-483

Khurana, K. L., Banerjee, D. P. and Gupta, A. K. (2009). Experimental immunization of rabbits with whole tick extract antigens of Hyalomma anatolicum anatolicum : Cross resistance against H. dromedarii. Journal of Veterinary Parasitology. 23 (1) : 57-59.

Gupta, A. K., Singh, R., Mamta, Singh, M. K. and Yash Pal (2008). Physical and biochemical studies in Jack's semen. Annals of Arid zone. 47 (1) : 79-87.

Virmani, M., Gupta, A. K., Virmani, N. and Garg, S. K. (2008). Haemagglutination inhibition assay for equine chorionic gonadotropin 9eCG) detection in pregnant mare serum. J. Immunol.immunopathol. 10 (1) : 55-59.

Kumar , Sanjay., Kumar, R., Gupta, A. K. and Dwivedi, S. K. (2008). Passive transfer of Theileria equi antibodies to neonate foals of immune tolerant mares. Vet. Parasitol 151 :80-85.

Gupta, A. K, Yashpal, Chauhan, M. and Kumar, S (2007) Biometrical, physiological and hormonal indices in new born pony and donkey foals at different growth intervals. India J. Anim. Reprod.  28 (2): 34-39

Gupta, A. K. and Virmani, N. (2007). Equine Influenza in India. CAB Reviews: Perspectives in Agriculture, Veterinary Sciences, Nutrition and Natural Resources. 2: (16). (See http: //www.cababstractsplus org/cabreviews )

Singh, M. K., Gupta, A. K. and Yadav, M. P. (2007) . Performance evaluation of donkeys in arid zone in India. Indian J. Anim. Sci., 77 (10): 1017-1020.

Khurana, K. L., Banerjee, D.P. and Gupta, A. K. (2006). Immunological assessment of whole tick extract of Hyalomma anatolicum anatolicum. Journal of Veterinary Parasitology. 20 (2) : 175-176.

Virmani, M., Gupta, A. K.  and Garg, S. K. (2006). Determination of gestation period of mare with maximum eCG concentration by bioassay. Indian J. Anim.Res. 40 (1): 25-29.

Bansal, R.S., Pal, Yash., Pareek, P. K., Purohit, G. N., Legha, R.A. and Gupta, A. K. (2006). Progesterone profile during oestrous cycle, pregnancy and post foaling in donkey mares. Vet. Practitioner 7 (1) : 5-6.

Yash Pal and A. K. Gupta (2005). Oestrous cyclicity, follicle development and progesterone profile in Indigenous donkeys and ponies. Indian J. Anim. Sci. 75 : 1398-1400.

Gupta, A. K., Chauhan, M., Tandon, S. N. and Sonia. (2005). Genetic diversity and bottleneck studies in the Marwari horse breed. J. Genet. 84 (3) :295-301.

Gupta, A. K., Kaur, D., Rattan, B. and Yadav, M. P. (2005). Molecular variabilities in different Indian isolates of Equine Herpes Virus-1. Veterinary Research Communication 29 (8):721-734.

Gupta, S., Jindal, N., Khokhar, R.S., Gupta, A. K., Ledoux, D. R. and Rottinghaus, G. E. (2005). Effect of ochratoxin A on broiler chicks challenged with Salmonella gallinarum.  British Poultry Science 46 : 443-450.

Singh, K., Jindal, N., Gupta, S. L., Gupta, A. K., and Mittal, D. (2005). Detection of Newcastle disease virus genome from the field outbreaks in Poultry by reverse transcription-Polymerase chain reaction. Int. J. Poultry Sci.,  4 (7) :472-475.

Gupta, A. K. Sharma, S. K. and Dwivedi, S. K. (2005). Biochemical profiles in exotic horse and donkey stallions.  Indian Vet J. 82: 834-837.

Gupta, A. K., Pal Yash, Tandon, S. N., Dwivedi, S. K. (2005). Haematological and biochemical blood profiles in healthy Indian Spiti horses. Indian Vet. J. 82 : 604 - 608.