Haffkine Institute is a one of the oldest biomedical research institutes in the country. It was established in 1899 and is named after the scientist (Dr. Waldemar Mordecai Haffkine) who invented the plague vaccine. Since then, Haffkine Institute has emerged as a multi-disciplinary Institute engaged in training, research and testing of various aspects of infectious diseases.
MUMBAI: Haffkine Institute, the 116-year-old historical research institute in Parel that has done cutting-edge research work in the field of infectious diseases, has worked out a homeopathic medication for tuberculosis.
At a time when several western nations, including Australia and the United Kingdom, have expressed their reservations against homeopathy, Haffkine Institute delved deep into the alternative medicine’s sub-chapters on nosodes—better known as homeopathic vaccines—to prepare an anti-TB concoction. “We are not experts in homeopathy but, as microbiologists, we understand the principles of infectious diseases,” said Haffkine Institute’s director Dr Abhay Chowdhury.
His team tied up with homeopath Dr Rajesh Shah for the project, which started in March-April 2014.
Anti-TB medicines are mainly allopathic and homeopathy has had little role so far, admitted Dr Shah. “But we believe that our new nosode can complement allopathic medicines given to TB patients, including those with multi-drug-resistant TB,” he said.
In fact, a research paper published in Homeopathy Journal in 2014 said “add-on homeopathy in addition to standard therapy appears to improve outcome in MDR-TB”.
“Nosodes are used against infectious diseases such as anthrax, tuberculosis etcetera. However, there have been no new nosodes in recent times,” said Dr Shah. For the collaboration with Haffkine, he took an old nosode prepared using the sputum of a TB patient as well as other microbiological samples of patients suffering from MDR-TB, and decided to rework it.
After preparing a culture of these microorganisms, the Haffkine team worked on making the medicine using age-old homeopathic techniques but in modern settings. “Homeopathic medicines are prepared using the process of potentization or step-wise dilutions. We did the same but more scientifically by using molecular techniques,” said Dr Sandeepan Chowdhary, a scientific officer with Haffkine who was a part of the study. He said that Haffkine-nosode, which now has a standardized formula, is undergoing animal trials. [Source]