The world owes a big thankyou to Sir Alexander Fleming for discovering penicillin, the first broad spectrum antibiotic. But today’s world needs to pay more heed to the warning of Fleming on antimicrobial resistance which has been declared as Global Health emergency by the WHO. The centre for disease prevention predicts 10 million deaths annually by year 2050 due to anti-microbial resistance which is three times from the current 3 million deaths per year.
The menace of anti-microbial resistance
Resistance to bacteria is widespread from simple E.coli to MRSA and in some countries half of its population have stopped responding to the standard antibiotic treatment for E.coli infection. Other deadly infections such as S.typhi have also witnessed the sequential emergence of resistance to all first line anti-microbials like chloramphenicol, amoxicillin, co-trimaxazole & fluroquinolones.
With our resources to combat bacterial infections getting depleted there is a larger concern which is lurking ahead, the WHO 2019 report states that the drugs in the R&D pipeline are insufficient to combat the rising threat of resistance.
With the likelihood of modern science being outrun by anti-microbial resistance, there is a ray of hope at the other side of the tunnel. Recently, researchers at AIIMS, Bhopal have found out a potential alternative to commonly used anti-microbials. The drug – Fifatrol which is a multi-drug combination of Ayurveda has been found to be effctive against Staphylloccocus spesies, S.typhi etc. The drug comprises of Mrityunjay rasa, Tribhuvan Kirti rasa, Sudarshan ghan vati, Sanjeevani vati & godanti bhasm along with eight herbal extracts. In the study Fifatrol has been found suitable in controlling spread of infections caused due to E.coli and it has inhibited the growth of clinically isolated S.typhi at lowest MIC dose of 62.5 microgram per millilitre. The drug which is manufactured by Aimil Pharmaceuticals (I) Ltd. is undergoing further investigations on the Enterobacteriaceae family as well. Fifatrol works on the principle of bio-synergism where each constituent enhances the action of another constituent. The herbal component like Ocimum sanctum (Tulsi) and Tinospora cordyfolia (Giloe) enhances the body’s immune system by increasing the levels of IL-6 and beta cell differentiation. Tinospora cordyfolia have been shown to enhance the activation of human lymphocytes with downstream synthesis of pro anti-inflammatory cytokines. Another herb Picrorhiza kurroa (kutaki) improves metabolism to fasten recovery and along with Cyperus rotundus (motha) detoxifies the body and removes toxins. Other herbs such as Pongamia pinnata (karnj) & Swertia chirata (chirayata) works effectively in tandem to reduce the symptoms associated with bacterial infections especially in cases of upper respiratory tract infections
This is high time that we start looking for alternatives and encourage the research on drugs like Fifatrol because we only have anti-biotics as a resource to fight infections and we cannot afford to get this resource depleted at any cost.