More effective drug for typhoid developed

Kathmandu, July 12:

A team of Nepali doctors has developed a drug that is more effective in getting rid of typhoid fever.

The drug also costs less than the World Health Organisation (WHO)- recommended one. Doctors at the Patan Hospital, under the leadership of Dr Buddha Basnyat, tested the drug on 390 typhoid patients at the hospital. The team compared the effectiveness of ‘Cefixime’, a WHO-recommended drug for typhoid, and Gatifloxacin, a broad-spectrum antibiotic. The result showed that Gatifloxacin was more effective and cost less than Cefixime.

Among the tested patients, fever clearance time was 102 hours for

the Cefixime group and 72 hours for the Gatifloxacin group. The clinical failure was observed in 37.6 per cent in the Cefixime group 3.5 per cent in the Gatifloxacin group.

The study revealed that Gatifloxacin is better than the established drug for typhoid, said Dr Basnyat. Gatifloxacin is suitable for developing countries like Nepal, he said, adding, “It is cheaper than the WHO-recommended drug, Cefixime. While full course of Cefixime costs about $10, full course of Gatifloxacin costs $1.”

The researchers have proved Gatifloxacin to be more effective than Cefixime with respect to fever clearance time, said Bhupendra Bahadur Thapa, director of the Department of Drug Administration.

“But more confirmation is needed on its safety and side effects. We are waiting for verification from international researches to register the drug.”

Typhoid fever, also called enteric fever, is an illness caused by bacterium Salmonella typhi. It is transmitted by ingestion of food or water contaminated with faeces from infected person. According to reports, 6,00,000 people die of typhoid across the world every year. The Nepal Health Research Council has approved the research.