August 31, 2020

Essentials of Tropical Medicine and Diagnosis

Essentials of Tropical Medicine and Diagnosis

The tropics are the lands of moist weather with seasonal torrential rains and dark and thick vegetation and any civilization thronging upon the potential livelihood in these areas will encounter the wrath of the various vectors (carriers) that bring a myriad of diseases.

The easy to go approach of dealing these endemics was to kill the vectors and then when it reached the epidemic proportions, the call for disaster management and vector control mitigation steps and improved treatment took the center-stage.

Since ancient times, India has been listed asone of the hard hit areas with vector borne diseases with the highest mortality ranging from Malaria, Dengue and now Chikungunya. A recent study showed that till the last decade, India alone shared the greatest burden of Malaria led mortality at 20%. The mid 2000s gave the first glimpse of Dengue and Chikungunya epidemics which paralyzed the health set up of the country.

Scientists were initially divided on the approaches that could make in the best impact in controlling the diseases. The idea thus adopted was to initiate a national eradication program (for vector borne diseases initially, which was later segregated into Malaria and Dengue-Chikungunya respectively), effective vector control methods with close in monitoring during the monsoons (Insecticide induced Mosquito nets, Fumigation clusters etc.) and early detection and diagnosis for treatment (testing on Rapid Cards, and then administration of Drug cocktail for ideal drug delivery system).

The National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme (NVBDCP) was listed as the sole governing body who would initiate the annual programs and implement the strategies to keep the diseases undercontrol. Thanks to the global initiatives like BIRAC, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, WHO and Clinton Foundation, not only the general population has become aware of the hygienic lifestyle and improved living conditions but also a progressive approach to vector control and increased and affordable access to early and precise diagnosis for the disease has kept the vectors at bay and evidently there has been no outbreak (not even in endemic proportions) since2015.

J. Mitra & Co. Pvt. Ltd. has been a pioneer in the field of rapid and reliable diagnostic solutions since the last five decades and has been addressing the constant changes in diagnosis of vector borne diseases with the introduction of Rapid Test Cards by using special proteins and markers specific to the Indian population, followed by ELISA kits and now to Fluorescence Immunoassays. For routine, affordable mode of testing in vast population, Rapid cards like Mal Card, Advantage Malaria card and Dengue Day-1cards are in place which are the market leader. ELISA kits for Dengue and Chikungunya have been trendsetter for market and their performance has challenged the higher platforms even for transient infections. The company hasforayed in FIA domain with the introduction of indigenously developed and evolved (with collaboration of IIT, Madras) Quanti Dengue Cards (for NS1, IgG and IgM) which are clinically at par with PCR tests.

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