ICMR Current Affairs - 2020

Anti-Leprosy Drug Trials started by CSIR against COVID-19

The Council of Scientific and Industrial Research has started the trials of anti-leprosy drug trials against COVID-19. The drug trial is to be conducted with the help of Mycobacterium MW.


The Mycobacterium MW is a heat killed bacteria. It is to be tried on different COVID-19 patients. The drug trial was approved by the Drug Controller General of India. One particular strain of bacteria called the Mycobacterium MW is to be tried on several COVID-19 patients. The drug has already proved its effectivity against leprosy.

The CSIR is also trying phytopharmaceuticals


The Phytopharmaceuticals are herbal medicines. They contain one or more plant products as Active Ingredients. Phytopharmaceuticals are preferred to synthetic drugs as their benefit-risk ratios are higher.

What is Mycobacterium MW?

Mycobacterium MW is a strain of mycobacterium. It is a non-pathogenic, non-specific immune potentiating, rapidly growing atypical mycobacterium. This strain of bacteria shares a common T and B cell determinants with Mycobacterium tuberculosis and Mycobacterium leprae.

The heat killed bacteria induces T-cell responses. This induces the responses of the cells against tumor cells as well.

About the Trial

Along with CSIR Gujarat based pharma-giant Cadila Pharmaceuticals will also join the Mycobacterium trial. The hospitals that are to participate in the trial includes AIIMS Delhi, AIIMS Chandigarh and AIIMS Bhopal.

Lucknow Medical Hospital first in the country to launch Plasma Treatment Therapy

On April 27, 2020, the King George Medical University in Uttar Pradesh became the first government hospital to launch plasma therapy to treat COVID-19. The first dose of plasma therapy was given to a 58-year old patient.


The Drug Controller General of India (DGCI) recently cleared the proposal of plasma therapy that was submitted by ICMR. The DGCI nodded to use plasma from recovered COVID-19 patients.

What is the process?

The patients recovered from COVID-19 generate IGM and IGG antibodies against the virus. These antibodies are assessed from the samples of the donors through rapid tests. The plasma collected from the volunteering donors are then transfused into patients that are critically sick due to the virus.

The DGCI has passed an order that not more than 1000 ml of plasma can be collected from a donor in one month.

Current Scenario

The states and union territories such as Delhi, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh have begun to use plasma therapy treatment. However, King George Medical University is the first to use the treatment in government hospital.

History of the therapy in India

In India, the plasma therapy had been used to treat diseases such as mumps, measles, polio and flu. The treatment was used before vaccines were available. Plasma therapy was used to heal 1703 patients of Spanish flu in 1918.