India’s drug regulator–Drug Controller General of India–has approved use of anti-fungal drug liposomal amphotericin B or LAmB as a treatment against Mucormycosis. This deadly fungal infection was on rise in India among the people who have recovered from CoViD-19. Though Mucormycosis was rare in India, the instances started rising during the second wave of CoViD-19 in India. Many hospitals including those from Surat and Delhi have reported the emergence of Mucormycosis among patients who have recovered from CoViD-19. With a fatality rate of up to 80 per cent, Mucormycosis can also result in brain abscess and blindness or even death if left untreated.
As per reports, the infection predominantly occurred in immuno-compromised people who are on long-term steroid use. In the treatment of CoViD-19 also, steroids are used to manage ‘cytokine-storms’ in patients. The recommended treatment of Mucormycosis involves surgical removal of affected tissues and antifungal therapy with specific drugs.
Amphotericin B is such a drug recommended for Mucormycosis, originally developed and patented by US drug researcher Nexstar Pharmaceuticals. Currently manufactured in India by Bharat Serums & Vaccines (BSV), this drug can prevent the patients suffering from Mucormycosis from progressing to the stage where surgery is required, according to BSV spokesperson.