Mohali INST scientists develop new nano-particle-based treatment for kala azar – The Tribune India

Vijay Mohan

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 21

Patients affected by kala azar, one of the most neglected tropical diseases, may soon find relief in an oral medicine from India. Scientists from the Institute of Nano Science and Technology (INST), Mohali, have developed a nano-medicine by combining different compounds for combating the disease.

Scientifically called Visceral Leishmaniasis (VL), kala azar is a disease in which a parasite migrates to the internal organs such as the liver, spleen or bone marrow and, if left untreated, will almost always result in the death of the host, according to medical literature.

It is a major health problem in India with an estimated 1.5 lakh new cases per year and also a serious concern in many other developing countries. About 95 per cent VL cases in the world are reported from Bangladesh, Brazil, China, Ethiopia, India, Kenya, Nepal, Somalia, South Sudan, and Sudan.

While general symptoms of VL include fever, weight loss, fatigue, anaemia and substantial swelling of the liver and spleen, infliction of the disease can also be asymptomatic in some cases. Since it is spread by insects and parasites, VL is a community problem and requires individual and society participation in its control.

In their project, supported by the Department of Science and Technology - Science and Engineering Research Boards (DST-SERB) Early Career Research Award, INST scientists have developed an oral nano-medicine with the help of surface-modified solid lipid nano-particles-based combinational system for treating the disease.

According to the INST team, till date, there is no study reported where a combination of two anti-leishmanial drugs has been delivered through nano-modification as a potential therapeutic strategy against VL. This work suggests the superiority of the combination prepared by them as a promising approach towards the oral delivery of anti-leishmanial drugs, the Ministry of Science and Technology said on Friday.

The INST team was led by Dr Shyam Lal. Anti-leishmanial drugs Amphotericin-B and Paromomycin were encapsulated in solid lipid nano-particles and further modified with a Hydroxypropyl-Cyclodextrin compound. The nano-particle combinatorial drug delivery system developed by them enhanced the efficacy of the formulation by reducing intracellular amastigote growth in cells without causing any significant toxic side-effects.

This study by the INST team, published in the journals Scientific Reports and Materials Science and Engineering C, may lead to product and process patents, enhancing indigenous capability for developing innovative therapy against neglected diseases. The usage of lower therapeutic dose of the purified drugs through nano-modifications will greatly help in reducing toxicity, which has been a major hindrance in the existing conventional treatment, when administered orally.

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Mohali INST scientists develop new nano-particle-based treatment for kala azar - The Tribune India

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