Navigation Links
Hope for major advance in fighting world killer disease

University of Leicester scientists are heading a worldwide research project which could revolutionise the diagnosis and treatment of diarrhoea in children in developing countries.

The four-year project, the results of which are now being piloted in four hospitals in India, will offer a means of identifying the two most deadly forms of the disease quickly, cheaply and with little training necessary for practitioners.

The implications for improving children's health could be enormous. Diarrhoea is a major killer in developing countries. World Health Organisation statistics indicate that more than 2 million people die each year from the effects of diarrhoea, most of them children under five years old.

Diarrhoea is caused by a range of bacterial, viral and parasitic organisms, and is usually spread by contaminated water and poor sanitation. Two particular bacteria , enteropathogenic E.coli (EPEC), which causes a persistent infection lasting more than 14 days, and Shigella, the cause of dysentery - are the most deadly in terms of killing children. They cause only 20% of cases of diarrhoea but result in 60% of deaths. It is these two killers - EPEC and Shigella - that the Leicester-led project is targeting.

Peter Williams, Professor of Microbiology in the Department of Genetics, and Leicester colleagues Uta Praekelt and Marie Singer, are working with scientists at the Robert Koch Institute in Germany and Anna University in Chennai India, and with doctors at the Christian Medical College in Vellore, India, and at Gadjah Mada University in Yogyakarta, Indonesia.

Their project, called the European-Asian Challenge to Childhood Diarrhoea, or EACh-ChilD (because each child is precious!) currently receives funding of ?m from the European Union, but in its earlier stages it was supported by an Academic Links Scheme funded by the British Council and the Indian University Grants Commission.

Professor Williams commented: "All cases of diarrhoea look the same to start with, and children are usually given oral rehydration therapy, which is cheap and puts back fluids lost by diarrhoea. But disease caused by EPEC and Shigella does not usually respond to oral rehydration therapy. They are much more severe forms of the disease and even if they don't kill they can often inflict irreversible damage that interferes with the child's growth and development.

"Current practice in most Indian clinics is only to test for E. coli and Shigella if the child's symptoms have not responded to oral rehydration therapy by three days. The usual tests then take a further three days, by which time the disease may have progressed to a very serious stage. Our project has been to design a rapid method to identify these two types of the disease so that doctors can focus treatment immediately on those children who need it, before the damage is done.

"It's often said that, if a medical intervention costs more than US$½ it's not going to be viable in developing countries. Our test is quick, robust and cheap. At a workshop we held recently at Anna University, more than 30 people, ranging from technicians and students to clinical professors, had the opportunity to perform the tests with their own hands and see the results with their own eyes. They were very impressed!"

In the developing world it is not possible on cost grounds to give antibiotics to every child with diarrhoea, and in any case antibiotics would not work in every case. The Leicester test includes the facility to determine antibiotic resistance profiles quickly so that the correct antibiotics can be used.

With basic equipment donated by the EACh-ChilD project, the test is now being piloted in four hospitals in south India, one of which, the Government Children's Hospital in Chennai, is the biggest children's hospital in Asia. Once any further improvements are made following these trials, then Professor William s expects the technique to spread round other clinicians in the region and elsewhere. His team has already received enquiries from the Gambia in Africa.

A commercial testing kit is currently being developed.


'"/>

Source:University of Leicester


Related biology news :

1. Columbia research lifts major hurdle to gene therapy for cancer
2. Researchers uncover sequence of major rice pathogen
3. Emergence of cancer as major cause of childhood death in developing countries is not being adequately addressed
4. Biochemists report discovery of structure of major piece of telomerase; implications for cancer
5. Virologists make major step towards understanding the process of HIV infection
6. Biota makes major antiviral discovery
7. New gene scanning technology marks a major advance in disease research
8. LIAI scientists make major finding on potential smallpox treatment
9. MicroRNAs have shaped the evolution of the majority of mammalian genes
10. MIT: Oceans are a major gene swap-meet for plankton
11. U-M scientists identify major psoriasis susceptibility gene
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:2/7/2017)...   MedNet Solutions , an innovative SaaS-based eClinical ... research, is pleased to announce that the latest release ... flexible and award winning eClinical solution, is now available ... is a proven Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) clinical research technology platform ... also delivers an entire suite of eClinical tools to ...
(Date:2/3/2017)... WASHINGTON , Feb. 3, 2017 A ... Identity Strategy Partners, LLP (IdSP) . Designed to ... in the complex identity market, founding partners Mark ... nearly 35 combined years just in identity expertise that ... tank and non-profit leadership. The Crego-Kephart combined expertise has ...
(Date:1/31/2017)... Mass. , Jan. 31, 2017  Spero ... novel therapies for the treatment of bacterial infections, ... set of antibacterial candidates from Pro Bono Bio ... increased prevalence of multi-drug resistant forms of Gram-negative ... Cantab Anti Infectives Ltd, a PBB group company. ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/23/2017)... , Feb. 23, 2017  MIODx announced today ... two key immunotherapy technologies from the University of ... a method to monitor a patient for response ... and CTLA-4.  The second license extends the technology ... is likely to have an immune-related adverse event ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... -- Seattle,s upscale Capitol Hill neighborhood, with its swanky shops, parks and ... lice treatment salon to set up shop. But there,s ... French bistro on E Madison Ave, and CEO Maria ... lice clinic, we pride ourselves on being a destination for ... the stigma associated with lice. Everyone can get lice – ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... ... February 23, 2017 , ... Brain Sentinel, ... begin marketing the SPEAC® System, the Brain Sentinel® Seizure Monitoring and Alerting System. ... healthcare facilities during periods of rest. A lightweight, non-invasive monitor is placed on ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... ... 23, 2017 , ... David Nolte, PhD accepted Purdue University’s ... Purdue Research Park of West Lafayette, Indiana. , The top commercialization award ... and success with, commercializing discoveries from Purdue research. “This award is truly an ...
Breaking Biology Technology: