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Study suggests antibiotic may prevent dreaded brain fever
Date:2/19/2008

1) neuronal death, 2) microgliosis and production of cytokine and 3) viral titre. Furthermore, treatment with minocycline also improves the behavioral outcome following JE.

The most recent outbreak in Uttar Pradesh (concentrated in and around Gorakhpur belt, August-September, 2005) left behind more than one thousand dead, mostly children below 15 years of age Dr Basu said. Vaccine made by Central Research Institute (CRI), Kasauli is a lyophilized preparation of infected mouse brain tissue. Due to this it is impossible to make it in mass quantity and as expected it is also expensive. Moreover it is only sixty percent efficacious even after multiple boosters. Dr Basu also noted that multiple boosters not only makes it further expensive but also makes the treatment regime difficult, especially for the follow-up booster doses. It is also noteworthy to mention that at least in India prevalence of JE is predominantly observed in rural/remote and socio economically backward parts of the country. As there are multiple pockets of JE epidemic persists in the country, sometimes it is logistically difficult to transport vaccines in larger quantities from CRI to the location of epidemic. On the other hand minocycline, a tetracycline is easily available in pharmacy or in a primary health care center, in even very rural and remote set up and it is also inexpensive.

This study has shed more light on the processes that lead to death in children infected with JE virus" Dr Basu said. "We hope that these discoveries will lead to new treatments for JE, which remains a leading cause of death due to encephalitis in entire Asia-Pacific region. Department of Biotechnology is actively considering a clinical trial to use minocycline for JE patients. In addition to Dr Basu, Manoj Kumar Mishra a graduate student of NBRC is also involved in this study. This study is funded by Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, and NBRC is funded by Department of Biotechnology. '/>"/>

Contact: Melanie Thomson
melanie.thomson@oxon.blackwellpublishing.com
01-865-476-270
Wiley-Blackwell
Source:Eurekalert

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