Recent advancements in the treatment of leprosy.

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TitleRecent advancements in the treatment of leprosy.
Publication TypeJournal Article
AuthorsAamir M, Sadaf A, Khan S, Perveen S, Khan A
Abbrev. JournalCurr Top Med Chem
JournalCurrent topics in medicinal chemistry
Year of Publication2018
Publication Languageeng

Many of the tropical diseases are neglected by the researchers and medicinal companies due to lack of profit and other interests. The Drugs for Neglected Diseases Initiative (DNDi) is established to overcome the problems associated with these neglected diseases. According to a report published by WHO, leprosy (Hansen's disease) is also a neglected infectious disease. A negligible amount of advancements has been made in last few decades which includes the tools of diagnosis, causes, treatment, and genetic studies of the bacterium (Mycobacterium leprae) that causes leprosy. Until now a specific drug for the treatment of leprosy is not available, therefore, multi drug therapy (MDT) is used, which is hazardous to health. Besides Mycobacterium leprae, recently a new bacterium Mycobacterium lepromatosis was also identified as a cause of leprosy. During the last few years the genetic studies of Mycobacterium leprae, the role of vitamin D and vitamin D receptors (VDR), and the skin biopsies made the treatment and diagnosis of leprosy easier at early stages. The studies of micro RNAs (miRNAs) made it easy to differentiate leprosy from other diseases especially from tuberculosis. But these studies are not enough, therefore, it is required to make more studies on the genome of Mycobacterium leprae so that a single and efficient drug can be identified for leprosy.

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