‘Suspected Chikungunya cases in Kerala are of Lepidoterism’

Saturday, Apr 16, 2016,11:50 IST By Metrovaartha A A A

Kozhikode | Suspected cases of Chikungunya and dengue in Kerala are in fact that of ‘Lepidopterism’, a disease caused by Tiger Moths, according to a study by Aster MIMS Research Foundation.

The study, led by Dr P J Wills, Senior Scientist of the Foundation, associated with Aster Malabar Institure ofMedical Science, found that Lepidopterism caused by tiger moths is a serious illness that mimics symptoms of the mosquito borne infectious fevers.

The primary cause of these fevers has been identified as ‘Tiger Moth Asotacaricae’, which is widely distributed across Asia and Pacific Islands and is known to multiply at an alarming rate in Kerala during the monsoonseason from June to August, a Malabar Institute Medical Science release said.

The study on fever patients that yielded negative results for Chikungunya and Dengue found positive for Tiger Moth specific ‘IgE’ allergens, it said, adding the research findings would provide new insights in proper diagnosis and applied clinical treatment to fever patients and could avert clinico pathological complications and large number of deaths owing to symptomatic treatment.

Researchers suggest specific Tiger Moth IgE allergen test must be included as a routine test along with the diagnosis of infectious fevers in areas where the Tiger Moth’s distribution has been reported.

Speaking at the launch of the research, Dr Karthikeya Varma, Director of Aster MIMS Research Foundation said Aster MIMS Research Foundation claimed that the research done was patient centric or patient benefit oriented and the study was an example of that.

Dr Rahul Menon, CEO, Aster MIMS said that investing in research is thekey in being able to provide better medical care to patients, particularly in the areas of tropical diseases, which cause several deaths every year.