- January 13, 2022
- Posted by: admin1
- Category: DPN Topics
Subject – Science and Tech
Context – Kala azar death in Jharkhand; state says cause comorbidities
- Kala-azar or visceral leishmaniasis (VL) is a tropical disease characterised by irregular fever, weight loss, anaemia and swelling of the spleen and liver.
- It is caused by a protozoan Leishmania parasite and is transmitted to humans by the bite of infected female sandflies. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), globally, about 7 to 10 lakh new cases occur annually.
Three types of leishmaniasis:
- Visceral leishmaniasis, which affects multiple organs and is the most serious form of the disease.
- Visceral leishmaniasis, which is commonly known as Kala-azar in India, is fatal in over 95% of the cases, if left untreated.
- Cutaneous leishmaniasis, which causes skin sores and is the most common form.
- Mucocutaneous leishmaniasis, which causes skin and mucosal lesions.
Resistance to Drug:
- The only drug available against leishmaniasis, miltefosine, is rapidly losing its effectiveness because of emerging resistance to this drug due to a decrease in its accumulation inside the parasite.
- A protein called ‘P4ATPase-CDC50’, is responsible for intake of the drug by the parasite, and another protein, called ‘P-glycoprotein’, is responsible for throwing this drug out from within the parasite’s body.
- A decrease in the activity of the former protein, and an increase in the activity of the latter results in less accumulation of miltefosine inside the parasite’s body, thus causing it to become resistant to the drug.