Homeoprophylaxis success in Cuba

Leptospirosis is a severe and contagious bacterial infection of major importance in the tropics, particularly during the rainy season.

Researchers at the Finlay Institute, in Havana, Cuba, report the results of large-scale homeoprophylaxis against Leptospirosis (also known as Weil’s Disease) in a dangerous epidemic situation in 3 provinces of Cuba in 2007.

First, the details.

  • A homeoprophylactic formulation was prepared from dilutions of 4 circulating strains of Leptospirosis.
  • This formulation was administered by mouth to 2.3 million people at high risk for an epidemic in a region affected by natural disasters.
  • Forecast models were used to estimate possible trends of disease incidence.
  • Data from surveillance were used to measure the impact of the response to the homeoprophylactic to historical trends and regions where people received no treatment.

And, the results.

  • There was a significant decrease in disease incidence following homeoprophylaxis.
  • Within a few weeks the number of cases decreased from 38 to 4 cases per 100,000 per week, significantly fewer than the historically-based forecast for those weeks of the year.
  • The incidence of Leptospirosis was as forecast among the 8.8 million people from the other provinces where homeoprophylaxis wasn’t used.
  • The effect appeared to be sustained.
    • There was an 84% reduction in infection in the treated region the following year (2008).
  • For the first time, incidence did not correlate with rainfall.
  • In the same period, incidence in the untreated region increased 22%.

The bottom line?

The authors concluded, “The homeoprophylactic approach was associated with a large reduction of disease incidence and control of the epidemic.”

These findings suggest that large-scale homeoprophylaxis against Leptospirosis is feasible for epidemic control. More research is needed to confirm the results.

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8/11/10 18:11 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at www.Vicus.com, a complementary and alternative medicine website.