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Genetics could help diagnose type-1 diabetes in Indians: study reveals

The authors also found that the study can be used to predict the onset of type 1 diabetes in Indians.

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Researchers at the KEM Hospital and Research Centre, Pune; CSIR-Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB), Hyderabad; and the University of Exeter in the UK have found that a genetic risk score is effective in diagnosing type-1 diabetes in Indians. The outcome of their research has been published in Scientific Reports.

Now, what is this genetic risk score? Developed by the University of Exeter, the genetic risk score takes into account detailed genetic information that are known to increase the chance of developing type-1 diabetes. The score may be used at the time of diabetes diagnosis to help decide if someone has type-1 diabetes.

Will the European genetic risk score be effective in diagnosing type-1 diabetes in Indians? This was the question that naturally arises as the bulk of the research in this field has been conducted in European populations. To answer this question, the research team studied people with diabetes from Pune, India, using the genetic risk score. The team analysed 262 people with type-1 diabetes, 352 people with type-2 diabetes, and 334 people without diabetes. All were of Indian (Indo-European) ancestry. The research outcomes compared well with those in Europeans as revealed in the Wellcome Trust Case Control Consortium Study.

It is widely believed that only children and adolescents get type-1 diabetes and obese and older (typically after 45 years of age) get type-2 diabetes. However, recent findings have shown that type-1 diabetes can occur later in life, while type-2 diabetes is on the rise among younger and thinner Indians. Distinguishing the two types of diabetes, has therefore, become more complex. The two types follow different treatment regime with type-1 diabetes needing lifelong insulin injections but type-2 diabetes often being managed with diet or tablet treatment. Misclassification of the type of diabetes may lead to sub-standard diabetes care and possible complications. In this context, this particular study gains importance as it helps in diagnosing diabetes from its type-1 and type 2 variants correctly.

Although based on European data, the researchers found that the test is effective in diagnosing the right type of diabetes in Indians, even in its current form. They have also found genetic differences between the populations, indicating that the test could be further improved to enhance outcomes for Indian populations.

“Diagnosing the right diabetes type is an increasingly difficult challenge for clinicians, as we now know that type 1 diabetes can occur at any age. This task is even harder in India, as more cases of type 2 diabetes occur in people with low BMI. We now know that our genetic risk score is an effective tool for Indians, and can help get people on the treatment they need to avoid life-threatening complications such as diabetic ketoacidosis and to achieve the best health outcomes”, said Dr Richard Oram, of the University of Exeter Medical School.

Dr ChittaranjanYajnik of the KEM Hospital and Research Centre, Pune agrees with Dr Oram. He said that the escalating epidemic of diabetes in young Indians makes it imperative that we diagnose the type of diabetes correctly to avoid mistreatment and its long-term biological, social, and economic implications. The new genetic tool will be a great help in this. It will help decide the contribution of failing pancreatic B-cells against reduced action of insulin due to excess fat and smaller muscle mass in the body of Indians (‘thin-fat Indians’). He further said, “We look forward to using this test in diabetic patients from different parts of India where the physical characteristics of diabetic patients differ from the standard description”.

The authors also found that the study can be used to predict the onset of type 1 diabetes in Indians.

Referring to the finding that nine genetic areas (called the single nucleotide polymorphisms [SNPs]) that correlated with type-1 diabetes in both Indian and European populations, Dr G R Chandak, Chief Scientist leading the study at CCMB, remarked: “It’s interesting to note that different SNPs are more abundant among Indian and European patients. This opens up the possibility that environmental factors might be interacting with these SNPs to cause the disease.”

Given the genetic diversity of the population of India, the study’s results need to be validated in other ethnic groups of the country too. Dr Rakesh K Mishra, Director of the CSIR-Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB), said: “As more than 20 per cent of people with type-1 diabetes below the age of 15 years of age are in India, developing a genetic test kit to reliably detect type-1 from type-2 diabetes holds a lot of significance for the country.”

Courtesy: pib.gov.in

Health

PGI-Chandigarh among 17 trial sites for Oxford vaccine Covishield

The permission was granted after the Serum institute satisfied certain requirements sought by the Drug Controller in the design of the proposal.

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Covid 19 Vaccine

Chandigarh, Aug 4 : The PGI Hospital here is among the 17 trial sites in India for conducting the second and third phases of human clinical trials of Covishield, the potential vaccine developed by Oxford University, its director said on Tuesday.

The trials would involve administration of the vaccine to 1,600 healthy adults across 17 sites.

Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) Director Jagat Ram said, “It’s an honour to be entrusted with this vital responsibility of being one of the sites for phase two and three trials on Covishield vaccine.

“The results of phase one trials in the UK have been encouraging and did not present any serious adverse side effects. Phase two and three trials will be done on a larger human population to see its efficacy and requisite protection against COVID-19 in humans.”

Further detailing, the Director added, “As the results of the trials will have far reaching impact, we will strengthen our capacities, wherever required, to come out with tangible outcomes.

“A core group will be constituted to work out the modalities and comprehensive plan along with timelines to meet the desired expectations of Drugs Controller General of India and contribute towards containing the pandemic to the best of our abilities.”

Earlier, a committee of experts on COVID-19 under Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) had recommended the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) to grant approval to the Serum Institute of India (SII) for conducting the Phase two and three trials.

The permission was granted after the Serum institute satisfied certain requirements sought by the Drug Controller in the design of the proposal.

In addition to PGIMER Chandigarh, the other sites for trials include AIIMS in Delhi, ABJ Medical College in Pune, Rajendra Memorial Research Institute of Medical Sciences (RMRIMS) in Patna, AIIMS in Jodhpur, Nehru Hospital in Gorakhpur, Andhra Medical College in Visakhapatnam and JSS Academy of Higher Education and Research in Mysuru.

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Disaster

COVID-19 pandemic “once in a century”, but still “in our hands”: WHO

“I’m not saying there is no solution now. Whatever happens in the next few months or years, I also believe that it’s in our hands,” he said.

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Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus WHO

Geneva, Aug 4 : The chief of the World Health Organization (WHO) said that the COVID-19 pandemic is “a once-in-a-century health crisis,” but it is still “in our hands.”

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said at a virtual press conference on Monday that the world has never seen anything like this pandemic for decades, and its effects might last for decades more, Xinhua news agency reported.

“Since we started probably recording, this is the first ever coronavirus-caused pandemic which has two dangerous combinations: it moves fast, and at the same time it’s a killer,” the WHO chief explained.

However, he noted, although the crisis is very severe, there are still solutions and hopes.

“I’m not saying there is no solution now. Whatever happens in the next few months or years, I also believe that it’s in our hands,” he said.

“Since the outbreak started, many countries have shown that it can be controlled, or serious transmission can be suppressed,” Tedros said, adding that he has mentioned many such countries in the past, including Spain, Italy, China and South Korea.

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Delhi govt bans use of hookah in hotels, restaurants to stem COVID-19 spread

Delhi has so far recorded 1,38,482 COVID-19 cases and 4,021 people have died due to the disease.

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New Delhi, Aug 3 : The Delhi government on Monday banned the use of hookahs, with or without tobacco, in all public places, including hotels, restaurants and bars, with immediate effect to control the spread of COVID-19.

Smokers are likely to be more vulnerable to COVID-19 as smoking means the fingers are in contact with the lips which increases the possibility of transmission of the virus, the health department said in an order.

“Smokers may also already have lung diseases or reduced lung capacity which would greatly increase the risk of serious illness,” it said.

Smoking products such as water pipes often involve the sharing of mouthpieces and hoses, which could facilitate the transmission of COVID-19 in communal and social settings, the health department said.

Therefore, the use and sharing of hookah, with or without tobacco (herbal hookah), “which might further increase the spread of SARS-CoV2, is strictly prohibited in all public places, including hotels, restaurants, bars, pubs, eateries, discotheques, etc. in Delhi with immediate effect to prevent and control the outbreak of COVID-19”, it said.

Delhi has so far recorded 1,38,482 COVID-19 cases and 4,021 people have died due to the disease.

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