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New tools for monitoring drug resistance and treatment response in visceral leishmaniasis in the Indian subcontinent (KALADRUG-R)
Start date: Nov 1, 2008, End date: Apr 30, 2013 PROJECT  FINISHED 

"Visceral leishmaniasis (VL), one of the most-neglected infectious diseases, has an annual incidence of 500,000 cases. Early treatment is a major pillar of the current program for VL elimination on the Indian sub-continent. However, the arsenal of available drugs is very limited, and their use is jeopardized by drug resistance. Combination regimens for VL are under clinical development, but it will take several more years to change the drug policy. Meanwhile, the effectiveness of current drugs needs to be safeguarded in order to cure patients and ensure unremitting sustainment of VL control. For this, the uninterrupted supply of quality drugs, the promotion of treatment compliance and, the monitoring of treatment effectiveness and of drug resistance will be pivotal. The latter demands improved knowledge and know-how, hence clinical and laboratory research are urgently needed to support the drug policy of the VL elimination program. The present multi-disciplinary proposal addresses these needs: we aim to develop, evaluate and disseminate new tools for the assessment of drug resistance in L. donovani as well as innovative methodologies for monitoring Kala-Azar treatment effectiveness under routine conditions."

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