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Multidrug therapy in leprosy has failed to eliminate the problem of persister bacilli. Clearance of bacterial antigens is extremely slow which could predispose to continued nerve damage even after release from treatment. In the present study the immunomodulatory efficacy of BCG vaccine administered post-MDT in BL-LL leprosy patients was investigated in depth with a view to determining if augmenting chemotherapy with immunotherapy would help in faster clearance of M. leprae/antigens, bring down the level of persisters and minimise the occurrence/severity of reaction and nerve damage. This is a placebo-controlled study in treated BL-LL patients. The patients are matched with respect to age, sex, bacteriological index and history of reaction, stratified and allocated to the two groups. One group (Gr A) received two doses of BCG-MOSCOW (3-33 x 10(5) cells) and the other (Gr B) normal saline (0.85%), injected intra-dermally at 3 month intervals. The Primary outcomes assessed at the end of 6 months were bacterial/antigen clearance, lepromin conversion, granuloma clearance and the occurrence of persisters. The secondary outcomes were clinical regression, occurrence and severity of reaction and changes in nerve functions. A total of 107 BL-LL patients comprised of 49 in Gr A and 58 in Gr B; of which 36 and 42 respectively completed the study as per protocol, and are included in the final analysis. The study findings show that both the primary and the secondary out comes were comparable in the two groups. Two doses of BCG administered post-MDT (Gr A) did not significantly alter the level of persisters or help in hastening the bacterial/antigen clearance, clinical regression of lesions and granuloma clearance. Lepromin conversion rates were also comparable. While the frequency of lepra reaction/neuritis following the intervention was comparable, the severity of reactions was significantly higher in Gr A. On the positive side neural functions assessed by nerve conduction studies showed that deterioration of motor nerve conduction was significantly lower in the BCG arm. Since all patients developing moderate to severe reactions, immediately received a course of corticosteroids, it is possible that timely use of it might have helped. Source

Mistry N.,The Foundation for Medical Research | Tolani M.,The Foundation for Medical Research | Osrin D.,University College London
Operations Research for Health Care

Operations research (OR) is well established in India and is also a prominent feature of the global and local agendas for tuberculosis (TB) control. India accounts for a quarter of the global burden of TB and of new cases. Multidrug-resistant TB is a significant problem in Mumbai, India's most populous city, and there have been recent reports of totally resistant TB. Much thought has been given to the role of OR in addressing programmatic challenges, by both international partnerships and India's Revised National TB Control Programme. We attempt to summarize the major challenges to TB control in Mumbai, with an emphasis on drug resistance. Specific challenges include diagnosis of TB and defining cure, detecting drug resistant TB, multiple sources of health care in the private, public and informal sectors, co-infection with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and a concurrent epidemic of non-communicable diseases, suboptimal prescribing practices, and infection control. We propose a local agenda for OR: modeling the effects of newer technologies, active case detection, and changes in timing of activities, and mapping hotspots and contact networks; modeling the effects of drug control, changing the balance of ambulatory and inpatient care, and adverse drug reactions; modeling the effects of integration of TB and HIV diagnosis and management, and preventive drug therapy; and modeling the effects of initiatives to improve infection control. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. Source

Birdi T.,The Foundation for Medical Research | Daswani P.,The Foundation for Medical Research | Brijesh S.,The Foundation for Medical Research | Tetali P.,Lawkin Ltd. Campus | And 3 more authors.
BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine

Background: Psidium guajava L., Myrtaceae, is used widely in traditional medicine for the treatment of diarrhoea, dysentery, gastroenteritis, stomachaches, and indigestion. However, the effect of the leaf extract of P. guajava on the pathogenesis of infectious diarrhoea has not been studied. The present study evaluates the effect of a hot aqueous extract (decoction) of dried leaves of P. guajava on parameters associated with pathogenicity of infectious diarrhoea. The aim was to understand its possible mechanism(s) of action in controlling infectious diarrhoea and compare it with quercetin, one of the most reported active constituents of P. guajava with antidiarrhoeal activity.Methods: The crude decoction and quercetin were studied for their antibacterial activity and effect on virulence features of common diarrhoeal pathogens viz. colonization of epithelial cells and production and action of enterotoxins. Colonization as measured by adherence of enteropathogenic Escherichia coli (EPEC) and invasion of enteroinvasive E. coli (EIEC) and Shigella flexneri was assessed using HEp-2 cell line. The production of E. coli heat labile toxin (LT) and cholera toxin (CT) and their binding to ganglioside monosialic acid (GM1) were studied by GM1-ELISA whereas the production and action of E. coli heat stable toxin (ST) was assessed by suckling mouse assay.Results: The decoction of P. guajava showed antibacterial activity towards S. flexneri and Vibrio cholerae. It decreased production of both LT and CT and their binding to GM1. However, it had no effect on production and action of ST. The decoction also inhibited the adherence of EPEC and invasion by both EIEC and S. flexneri to HEp-2 cells. Quercetin, on the other hand, had no antibacterial activity at the concentrations used nor did it affect any of the enterotoxins. Although it did not affect adherence of EPEC, it inhibited the invasion of both EIEC and S. flexneri to HEp-2 cells.Conclusion: Collectively, the results indicate that the decoction of P. guajava leaves is an effective antidiarrhoeal agent and that the entire spectrum of its antidiarrhoeal activity is not due to quercetin alone. © 2010 Birdi et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. Source

Shetty V.P.,The Foundation for Medical Research | Wakade A.V.,The Foundation for Medical Research | Ghate S.D.,The Foundation for Medical Research | Pai V.V.,Bombay Leprosy Project
Leprosy Review

Sixty two patients with relapsed leprosy seen between Jan 2004 and Dec 2009 were studied using clinical, bacteriological and histopathological parameters. The findings thus obtained were correlated to parameters such as trend and source of referral, clinical characteristics at diagnosis, treatment received, other events during or after RFT and duration between cessation of treatment and relapse. Findings: Referrals per year have doubled since 2006. Most patients were referred by NGOs (58%), followed by Govt. hospitals (16%) and then by GPs (25%); 76% had received one of the WHO - MDT regimens including 16 treated with 24 months or more MB - MDT, 23 with 12 months MB - MDT and eight with 6 months PB - MDT. Of the remaining 14 cases, four had received DDS mono-therapy, seven had single dose of Rifampicin, Ofloxacin and Minocycline (ROM) and four Rifampicin and Ofloxacin (RO) daily for 28 days. The average incubation time of relapse, defined as duration between cessation of treatment and relapse was (SD) {thorn} 6·4 years. 59% of patients had positive slit skin smears on relapse. Relapse for the second time occurred in six BL cases including five from group 2 and one RO treated patient and 11/23 cases from group 2 conferred to BT-BB leprosy. Clinical features at diagnosis and on relapse were comparable in 47% of cases. Conclusion: All leprosy patients, regardless of their type and MDT regime, carry 'risk of relapse'. A shorter treatment duration reduces the incubation time to relapse. In group 2 (treated with 12 months MB-MDT regime) 11/23 were BT-BB cases and 5/23 (21%) were relapse for the second time, which further supports our earlier documented findings14,23 and maybe the efficacy of WHO-MDT regime is poor in a small subset of patients. © Lepra. Source

Gupta P.,The Foundation for Medical Research | Bhatter P.,The Foundation for Medical Research | D'souza D.,The Foundation for Medical Research | Tolani M.,The Foundation for Medical Research | And 3 more authors.
BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine

Background: In tuberculosis (TB), the steadily increasing bacterial resistance to existing drugs and latent TB continue to be major concerns. A combination of conventional drugs and plant derived therapeutics can serve to expand the antimicrobial spectrum, prevent the emergence of drug resistant mutants and minimize toxicity. Alpinia galanga, used in various traditional medicines, possesses broad spectrum antibacterial properties. The study was undertaken to assess the antimycobacterial potential of A. galanga in axenic (under aerobic and anaerobic conditions) and intracellular assays.Methods: Phytochemical analysis was done using HPTLC. The acetone, aqueous and ethanolic extracts (1, 10, 25, 50 and 100 μg/ml) of A. galanga were tested axenically using Microplate Alamar Blue Assay (MABA) against Mycobacterium tuberculosis (M.tb) H37Rv and three drug sensitive and three multi drug resistant clinical isolates. The activity of the extracts was also evaluated intracellularly in A549 cell line against these strains. The extracts active under intracellular conditions were further tested in an axenic setup under reducing oxygen concentrations using only H37Rv.Results: 1́ acetoxychavicol acetate, the reference standard used, was present in all the three extracts. The acetone and ethanolic extracts were active in axenic (aerobic and anaerobic) and intracellular assays. The aqueous extract did not demonstrate activity under the defined assay parameters.Conclusion: A. galanga exhibits anti M.tb activity with multiple modes of action. Since the activity of the extracts was observed under reducing oxygen concentrations, it may be effective in treating the dormant and non-replicating bacteria of latent TB. Though the hypothesis needs further testing, A. galanga being a regular dietary component may be utilized in combination with the conventional TB therapy for enhanced efficacy. © 2014 Gupta et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. Source

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