December 10, 2023


Indian researchers have developed a non-invasive, easy to administer, cost-effective, and patient compliant potential therapeutic strategy against Visceral Leishmaniasis.

About Leishmaniasis:

  1. The leishmaniases are a group of diseases caused by protozoan parasites. These parasites are transmitted to humans by the bite of an infected female phlebotomine sandfly, a tiny – 2–3 mm long – insect vector.
  2. Types: There are three main forms of this disease: 
    • Cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL)
    • Visceral leishmaniasis (VL), also known as kala-azar, and 
    • Mucocutaneous leishmaniasis (MCL)
  3. CL is the most common form, VL is the most severe form and MCL is the most disabling form of the disease.

About Visceral Leishmaniasis(VL):

  1. Visceral Leishmaniasis(VL) is also known as kala-azar. The disease is characterized by irregular bouts of fever, substantial weight loss, swelling of the spleen and liver, and anaemia.
  2. It is a neglected tropical disease that affects millions annually, making it the second most common parasitic killer after malaria.
  3. If the disease is not treated, the fatality rate in developing countries can be as high as 100% within 2 years.

Treatment of VL:

  1. The conventional treatment therapy of VL mainly involves painful intravenous administration. This imposes many treatment complications, including prolonged hospitalization, high cost, and high risk of infection. 
  2. On the other hand, Oral drug delivery brings forth massive advantages that can help overcome these barriers. But with oral routes have potential high renal toxic side effects.
    • To overcome this, scientists have developed a method based on nano carrier-based oral drugs coated with Vitamin B12. This method can mitigate challenges and drug-associated toxicity.
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