Breaking the drug-resistant TB transmission cycle important

Nearly two months after the Health Ministry set a highly ambitious target of working towards elimination of tuberculosis by 2025, a study published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases indicates that India’s TB crisis is all set to snowball by 2040 when one in 10 cases could be drug-resistant. What is even more alarming is that the increased... Continue Reading →

IGIB uses novel drug discovery approach to identify drug targets in TB bacteria

In a completely different approach to drug discovery, a team led by Dr. Samir K. Brahmachari at Delhi’s CSIR-Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology (CSIR-IGIB) has used a combination of approaches to predict potential drug targets in Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the TB causing bacteria. The novel method not only helps in speeding up drug discovery by... Continue Reading →

TB vaccine trial on adults begins in June in India

In June this year, the Pune-based Serum Institute of India Pvt Limited will begin a Phase II/III vaccine trial for tuberculosis using a novel, recombinant BCG (bacillus Calmette-Guérin) vaccine. The double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomised trial will be carried out on 2,000 adults who have been successfully treated (and cured) for TB. While 1,000 adults will receive... Continue Reading →

In a breakthrough, a blood test can diagnose TB disease

In a marked departure, researchers have used a rapid blood test that relies on two Mycobacterium tuberculosis-specific peptide fragments for diagnosis of TB disease and monitoring treatment. Currently, sputum samples are used for diagnosing TB disease in the case of pulmonary TB and tissue samples in the case of extra-pulmonary TB. The blood test accurately... Continue Reading →

Without a magic wand, India cannot eliminate TB by 2025

At the end of 50 years of tuberculosis control activities, the disease remains a major health challenge in India. As per new estimates, the number of new cases every year has risen to 2.8 million and mortality is put at 4,80,000 each year. These figures may go up when the national TB prevalence survey is... Continue Reading →

Can health spending of 2.5% of GDP only by 2025 help achieve the goals set by India’s National Health Policy?

The long awaited National Health Policy announced a few days ago proposes to raise public health expenditure as a percentage of GDP from the current 1.15% to 2.5% by 2025. The resource allocation to individual States will be linked with their development indicators, absorptive capacity and financial indicators. “There will be higher weightage given to... Continue Reading →

Top health stories of 2016

On the health front, the year 2016 witnessed a few setbacks and but also a few positive developments. Here are the most important health developments of 2016 1. Trial results confirm Ebola vaccine provides high protection The Ebola virus that killed more than 11,300 people in three West African countries — Guinea, Liberia and Sierra... Continue Reading →

Time India got serious about fighting TB

Pushed to a corner owing to lack of political will on the part of countries with a high burden of tuberculosis, the World Health Organisation has called for the first United Nations General Assembly session on the disease. The fight against TB cannot be won as long as the high-burden countries, particularly India which has... Continue Reading →

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