April 17, 2024

Kala azar

  • Recent work by the Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science (IACS) has shown the potential of the quinoline derivatives to treat drug-resistant leishmaniasis or kala-azar (black fever).
  • The quinoline derivative is a potent inhibitor of enzyme topoisomerase 1, which is essential for maintenance of DNA architecture in the parasites.
  • Current annual estimates of kala-azar are about 1,00,000, with more than 95% of cases reported to WHO from India and other tropical countries.

About Kala azar

  • Kala azar or leishmaniases is one of the most dangerous neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) which is endemic in 76 countries, with approximately 200 million people at risk of infection.
  • According to World Health Organization (WHO), Leishmania parasites are transmitted through the bites of infected female phlebotomine sandflies, which feed on blood to produce eggs.
  • Some 70 animal species, including humans, have been found as natural reservoir hosts of Leishmania parasites.
  • There are 3 main forms of leishmaniases – visceral (also known as kala-azar, which is and the most serious form of the disease), cutaneous (the most common where skin is affected), and mucocutaneous.
  • In India, the four States endemic for kala-azar are: Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal, and Uttar Pradesh.
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