Rare diseases in India // Drug Repurposing

Rare diseases in India

Kyasanur Forest Disease

Kyasanur Forest Disease (KFD), also referred to as monkey fever is an infectious bleeding disease in monkey and human caused by a highly pathogenic virus called KFD virus (KFDV). KFDV is of zoonotic origin (originating from animals) and it is transmitted primarily by infective tick, Haemaphysalis spinigera. Rodents, shrews, monkeys and birds upon tick bite become reservoir for this virus. KFDV's common targets among monkeys are langur (Semnopithecus entellus, earlier classified Presbytis entellus) and bonnet monkey (Macaca radiata). A high number of these monkeys' death was seen in the Kyasanur Forest region of Shimoga District of Karnataka State in southern India in 1955. The first epidemic season of KFD in human was observed in Jan - May, 1956 when four villages were affected. In 1957, KFD spread to more than 20 villages and by 2003 it had affected more than 70 villages in four districts adjacent to Shimoga in western Karnataka.

Figure 1. Distribution of KFD in the state of Karnataka in India. Image is modified from ICMR publication*.

H. spinigera tick is widely distributed in tropical forests of peninsular India and Sri Lanka. In 1957 KFDV was isolated from this tick, the primary vector, and later in sixteen other tick species as well. Apart from ticks, KFDV has also been isolated from certain species of mammals including human. Virulence of KFDV became obvious when numerous infections were reported in laboratory and field personnel who were directly dealing with KFD outbreak. This led to suspension of work with KFDV until an appropriate Biosafety Level-3 laboratory (the level of the biocontainment precautions required to handle pathogens in an enclosed facility) was built at the National Institute of Virology in Pune, India in...

Spearheaded by National Institute of Virology at Pune in India, a vaccine has been made available since 1966. Formalin inactivated KFDV vaccine is prepared by growing the virus in chick embryo fibroblast cells by employing modern cell culture techniques. This vaccine is currently used in the endemic areas of KFD. Over 50 thousand doses of KFDV vaccine are administered annually. Despite this prophylactic effort, reports of large numbers of KFD cases from Karnataka highlights a need for a fresh look into vaccine preparation as well as post-production vaccine handling and overall disease management protocols. Though KFD is still an epidemic that threatens periodically, identification of KFDV and development of a largely effective vaccine, is in itself considered to be a success story in Indian science scenario.

References and further readings


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And rare, I would not worry about rabies

by 0G

There is no canine rabies anymore, they can only get it from wildlife, which might also depend where you live (bats, skunks, etc). Between 1980 and 1997 there were only 22 cases of rabies in the US, that is VERY rare! Majority was from bats, not dogs. Mostly it is China and India that still has some problems with rabies, but they have problems with all kinds of diseases that we in the US don't deal with.

Oh I forgot, you are the one who

by samshine

Wants dogs to roam and breed indiscriminately, without any intervention from humans.
Like they do in places like India where they have to be shot dead when their population gets too high and they start threatening kids and carrying rabies.
Too bad they have all these new genetic tests to show which dogs will produce blindness, hemophilia, degenerative myelopathy, etc. It will be a shame when those diseases become rare.

Parents of boy with rare disease to meet Harsh Vardhan  — Zee News
But we have been vocal about Arian and we hope others will join in our movement," Chowdhury said. For the other children battling rare diseases in India, Chowdhury hopes for the inclusion of rare diseases in the country's health policy. IANS.