AU holds genetic study of kidney diseases in SKL


Visakhapatnam: Andhra University’s Department of Human Genetics has started genetic diagnosis of chronic kidney disease which is at epidemic stage in Uddanam region of Srikakulam district. The areas/mandalas for study include Kaviti, Sompeta, Kanchili, Ichapuram, Palasa, and Vajrapukotturu.

The ICMR-sponsored project has been taken up since 2019 by teachers and scientists from the HG department and they collected 1,000 samples from chronic adult patients, siblings and adolescents.

Prof Paddaiah Gangisetti, who spent a short stint at Johns Hopkins University in the US and is leading this ICMR project, said kidney disease can be caused by mutations in any of the six genes that regulate kidney function.

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The genes examined are TGF, APDE, NAT8B, CHSP-9, ACE and MUSIN-1.

Speaking to the Deccan Chronicle, Prof Paddaiah said that about 40 percent of the 70,000 residents of Kanchili and Kaviti in the Uddanam stretch are affected by kidney disease. “We collected samples from 1,000 patients, including women and adolescents. Half of them were siblings. Examination of the siblings’ samples would provide insight into the cause of the disease,” he said.

Previous studies had found that 10 percent of adult CKD cases and 30 percent of juvenile cases have an identifiable genetic kidney disease.

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The university expected the Oxford Nanopore Sequencing Technology instrument from the University of Oxford by the end of this month and analysis of the samples would be completed by the third week of October.

Sub-Saharan Africa, Sri Lanka and some South American countries also have genetic kidney diseases, but no serious study has been done so far.

Kidney patients are now being treated in community health centers and the lonely 50-bed hospital in Palasa. According to government reports, around 10,000 patients require dialysis twice a week and the infrastructure currently available in the government sector is inadequate.

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The community health centers in Sompeta, Kanchili, Haripuram and Tekkali have dialysis units. In addition, several private-sector dialysis units and hospitals are taking advantage of the situation.

Soon after taking office as Prime Minister, Jagan Reddy authorized a super special hospital with a renal research center and dialysis unit for Palasa. The 200 bed hospital would cost 50 crore.

Srikakulam sources said the hospital is now under construction. One consolation is that the government pays €10,000 to every patient undergoing dialysis. There are 10,000 such patients in Uddanam,” a health official said.



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