Scientists from the Institute of Nano Science & Technology (INST), Mohali have developed an oral nanomedicine for combating visceral leishmaniasis (Kala Azar).
What is ‘Kala Azar’?
- It is a neglected tropical disease affecting almost 100 countries including India. Neglected tropical diseases are a diverse group of communicable diseases that prevail in tropical and subtropical conditions in 149 countries.
- It is caused by a parasite called Leishmania, which is transmitted through the bite of sand flies.
There are three types of leishmaniasis
- Visceral leishmaniasis, which affects multiple organs and is the most serious form of the disease.
- Cutaneous leishmaniasis, which causes skin sores and is the most common form.
- Mucocutaneous leishmaniasis, which causes skin and mucosal lesions.
- Visceral leishmaniasis, which is commonly known as Kala-azar in India, is fatal in over 95% of the cases, if left untreated.