Dr. Itu Singh
Dr. Itu Singh
Scientist-In-Charge: Stanley Browne Laboratory, Delhi
Dr Itu Singh has almost 20 years of leprosy research experience, and joined the Stanley Browne Laboratory, The Leprosy Mission Trust India in 2012, and has been Scientist-In-Charge since February 2020. Before joining The Leprosy Mission, she worked at the National JALMA Institute for Leprosy & Other Mycobacterial Diseases (ICMR), Agra (Nov 2003-June 2009).
Her research projects include early diagnosis, drug resistance and immunological aspects of leprosy.
Dr Itu has published 37 papers in high impact factor journals. and as Principal Investigator, she has received several research grants from national and international bodies. She is currently mentoring two PhD students.
Phone: +91 9717730549
Dr Itu is a leprosy expert for India's National Leprosy Eradication Program and an expert representative on the Global Partnership for Zero Leprosy's sub-group on diagnostics and related topics, including early detection of leprosy and leprosy reactions.
I facilitate training for TLM India with groups including medical officers of TLM and Government programmes. I have lifetime membership of the Indian Association of Leprologists (IAL) and Indian Immunology Society (IIS). I was invited as a leprosy expert for a formal interactive meeting of leprosy experts (the International Forum for Precise Prevention and Treatment of Leprosy) held at the Institute of Dermatology, Chinese Academy of Medical Science & Beijing Union Medical College, National Center for STD and Leprosy Control, China CDC, Nanjing, China from 6th November – 9th November, 2019. I won best paper award in “IAL – 2015”. I was invited as a chairperson to chair on session at the 4th Asian Congress on Autoimmunity in Singapore in 2009.
After my Ph.D. I received funding from DBT for a project on association of vitamin D level with leprosy spectrum and reaction (2014 - 2017). The main findings of the project were that VDR gene expression level is low in leprosy patients in comparison to healthy controls. t-F-a haplotype is associated with susceptibility to leprosy. Plasma level of vitamin D is not significantly different among leprosy patients and healthy controls. The manuscript is published in PLOSNTDs.
Presentations at ILC2022
Poster: Transmission of drug resistant strain of M. leprae in the contacts of leprosy cases: A report
Oral presentation: “Whole-Genome Tiling Array Analysis of Mycobacterium leprae in leprosy patients from India”.
Presentations by herPhD students:
Poster (Mr. Vinay K Pathak): “Utility of mimicking B cell epitopes between Mycobacterium leprae and host as prognostic biomarkers in type 1 reaction in leprosy”
Oral Presentation (Mr. Vinay K Pathak): “Do Mimicking T cell epitopes (peptides) between Mycobacterium leprae and host proteins evoke autoimmune reactions leading to the pathogenesis of reactions in leprosy?
Oral presentation (Mr. Mohd. Nadeem): “Absolute quantification for assessment of viable load of M. leprae in high BI leprosy patients treated with MDT regimen” (by Mr. Rahul Sharma) and 1 award paper entitled “Detection of M. leprae DNA in household contacts of leprosy patients by using multiplex PCR”
Publications in Journals
- Singh I, Ahuja M, Lavania M, Pathak VK, Turankar RP, Singh V et al. Efficacy of fixed duration multidrug therapy for the treatment of multibacillary leprosy: A prospective observational study from Northern India. Ind J of Derm, Ven and Lepr 2022, 1-7.
- Ahuja M, Singh I, Lavania M, Pathak VK, Darlong J, Turankar RP, Hembrom S, Singh SV, Sengupta U. Ofloxacin resistance in multibacillary new leprosy cases from Purulia, West Bengal: a threat to effective secondary line treatment for rifampicin-resistant leprosy cases. J Glob Antimicrob Resist. 2022 Sep 30: 282-285. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jgar.2022.06.008
- Jindal R, Singh I, Bhardwaj S, Chauhan P. High Prevalence of Resistance to Anti-Leprosy Drugs in Leprosy Cases with Chronic Erythema Nodosum Leprosum: A Matter of Concern. Ind Derm Online J 2022 13 (4), 511-513.
- Turankar RP, Singh V, Lavania M, Singh I, Sengupta U, Jadhav R. Existence of viable Mycobacterium leprae in natural environment and its genetic profiling in a leprosy endemic region. Front in Trop Dis, 2022: 70.
- Pathak VK, Singh I, Singh SV, Sengupta U. Mimicking B and T cell epitopes between Mycobacterium leprae and host as predictive biomarkers in type 1 reaction in leprosy. Sci Rep. 2021 Dec 24;11(1):24431. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-021-04135-5
- Narang T, Kamat D, Thakur V, Lavania M, Singh I et al. Equal rates of drug resistance in leprosy cases with relapse and recurrent/chronic type 2 reaction; Time to revise the guidelines for drug resistance testing in leprosy. Clin and Exp Dermat, 2022 47 (2), 297-302. https://doi.org/10.1111/ced.14884
- Singh I, Sengupta U. Drug Resistance in Mycobacterium leprae in the Context of Zero Leprosy. Indian Dermatol Online J. 2021 Nov 22;12(6):791-795. https://doi.org/10.4103%2Fidoj.idoj_599_21
- Muddebihal A, Sardana K, Mathachan SR, Khurana A, Singh I, Sharma R. Drug resistance to rifampicin in a case of steroid-dependent erythema nodosum leprosum and the therapeutic implications of resistance and reactions in leprosy. Int J of Derm, 2021. https://doi.org/10.1111/ijd.15559
- Lavania M, Darlong J, Singh I, Ahuja M, Turankar RP, Pathak VK, et al. Analysis of bacteriological Index between fixed multidrug therapy and new WHO recommended alternative regimen with ofloxacin, minocycline and clofazimine of rifampicin. J of global antimicro resist, 2020; S2213-7165 20: 30252-6. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jgar.2020.09.021
- Vengalil S, Lavania M, Singh I, Nashi S, Preethish-Kumar V, et al. Appropriately Selected Nerve in Suspected Leprous Neuropathy Yields High Positive Results for Mycobacterium leprae DNA by Polymerase Chain Reaction Method. Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2020; 103(1): 209-213. https://doi.org/10.4269%2Fajtmh.19-0746
- Jabeen S, Saini J, Vengalil S, Lavania M, Singh I, Nashi S, et al. Neuroimaging in Leprosy: the nerves and beyond. Radiol of Infect Dis, 2020; 7: 12 – 21. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jrid.2020.03.008
- Mahajan NP, Lavania M, Singh I, Nashi S, Preethish-Kumar V, Vengalil S, Polavarapu K, Pradeep-Chandra-Reddy C, Keerthipriya M, Mahadevan A, Yasha TC, Nandeesh BN, Gnanakumar K, Parry GJ, Sengupta U, Nalini A. Evidence for Mycobacterium leprae Drug Resistance in a Large Cohort of Leprous Neuropathy Patients from India. Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2020; 102 (3): 547-552. https://doi.org/10.4269%2Fajtmh.19-0390
- Pathak VK, Singh I, Turankar RP, Lavania M, Ahuja M, Singh V, Sengupta U. Utility of multiplex PCR for early diagnosis and household contact surveillance for leprosy. Diagn Microbiol Infect Dis. 2019; 95: 114855. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.diagmicrobio.2019.06.007
- Lavania M, Darlong J, Reddy A, Ahuja M, Singh I, Turankar RP, Sengupta U. Successful treatment of rifampicin resistant case of leprosy by WHO recommended ofloxacin and minocycline regimen. Lep Rev. 2019; 90: 456-459. https://doi.org/10.47276/lr.90.4.456
- Turankar RP, Singh V, Gupta H, Pathak VK, Ahuja M, Singh I, Lavania M, Dinda AK, Sengupta U. Association of non-tuberculous mycobacteria with Mycobacterium leprae in environment of leprosy endemic regions in India. Infection, Genetics and Evolution, 2019; 72: 191-198. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.meegid.2018.11.010
- Polavarapu K, Preethish-Kumar V, Vengalil S, Nashi S, Lavania M, Bhattacharya K, Mahadevan A, Yasha TC, Saini J, Sengupta U, Jabeen S, Nandeesh BN, Singh I, Mahajan NP, Pradeep-Chandra-Reddy C, Parry GJ, Nalini A. Brain and Spinal Cord Lesions in Leprosy: A Magnetic Resonance Imaging-Based Study. Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2019;100(4):921-931. https://doi.org/10.4269%2Fajtmh.17-0945
- Singh I, Lavania M, Pathak VK, Ahuja M, Turankar RP, Singh V, Sengupta U. VDR polymorphism, gene expression and vitamin D levels in leprosy patients from North Indian population. PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases, 2018; 12 (11), e0006823. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pntd.0006823
- Singh I, Yadav AR, Mohanty KK, Katoch K, Sharma P, Pathak V, Bisht D, Gupta UD, Sengupta U. Autoimmunity to tropomyosin-specific peptides induced by M. leprae in leprosy patients: Identification of mimicking proteins. Frontiers in Immunology, 2018. 9: 642. https://doi.org/10.3389/fimmu.2018.00642
- Lavania M, Singh I, Turankar RP, Gupta AK, Ahuja M, Pathak V, Sengupta U. Enriched whole genome sequencing identified compensatory mutations in the RNA polymerase gene of rifampicin-resistant Mycobacterium leprae strains. Infect Drug Resist, 2018;11:169-175. https://doi.org/10.2147%2FIDR.S152082
- Lavania M, Singh I, Turankar RP, Ahuja M, Pathak V, Sengupta U, Das L, Kumar A, Darlong J, Nathan R, Maseey A. Molecular detection of multidrug-resistant Mycobacterium leprae from Indian leprosy patients. J Glob Antimicrob Resist. 2018 Mar;12: 214-219. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jgar.2017.10.010
- Turankar RP, Lavania M, Singh I, Singh V, Ahuja M, Pathak VK, Jakhmola P, Das L, Darlong J, Hembrom U, Ramesh V, Khanna N, John AS, Sengupta U. Paucibacillary Leprosy: Reappraisal using Ziehl-Neelsen staining of slit skin smears and 16S rRNA Real Time Polymerase Chain Reaction of nasal swabs. Lepr Rev. 2018; 89: 272-279. https://doi.org/10.47276/lr.89.3.272
- Turankar RP, Lavania M, Singh I, Ahuja M, Pathak VK, Singh V, et al. Relapse and Drug Resistance in Leprosy: Present Scenario and Critical Issues. Indian J Lepr. 2018; 90: 79-93. https://www.ijl.org.in/published-articles/14092021145014/9_Report_of_TLM_symposium_(79-93).pdf
- Turankar R.P., Singh V., Gupta H., Pathak V.K., Ahuja M., Singh I., Lavania M. Association of non-tuberculous mycobacteria with Mycobacterium leprae in environment of leprosy endemic regions in India. Infection, Genetics and Evolution 2018. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.meegid.2018.11.010
- Singh I, Lavania M, Nigam A, Turankar RP, Ahuja M, John AS, Sengupta U. Symposium on emerging needs in leprosy research in the post elimination era: The Leprosy Mission Trust India. Lepr Rev. 2016. 87: 132-143. 552876 132..143 (leprosyreview.org)
- Lavania M, Hena A, Reja H, Nigam A, Biswas NK, Singh I, Turankar RP, Gupta U, Kumar S, Rewaria L, Patra PK, Sengupta U, Bhattacharya B. Mutation at codon 442 in the rpoB gene of Mycobacterium leprae does not confer resistance to rifampicin. Lepr Rev. 2016. 87 (1), 93-100. https://doi.org/10.47276/lr.87.1.93
- Lavania M, Turankar RP, Singh I, Nigam A, Sengupta U. Detection of Mycobacterium gilvum first time from the bathing water of leprosy patient from Purulia, West Bengal. J Mycobact Dis. 2016. 6 (1): 201. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijmyco.2014.10.005
- Nigam A, Lavania M, Singh I, Turankar RP, Sengupta U. In silico analysis of novel mutations determined within RRDR region of rpoB gene of M. leprae: A possible cause of Rifampicin resistance among leprosy patients. International Journal of Modern Engineering Research (IJMER). 2016. 6 (3), 27-35.
- Turankar RP, Pandey S, Lavania M, Singh I, Nigam A, Darlong J, Darlong F, Sengupta U. Comparative evaluation of PCR amplification of RLEP, 16S rRNA, rpoT and Sod A gene targets for detection of M. leprae DNA from clinical and environmental samples. Int j of mycobact. 2015. 4 (1): 54-59. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijmyco.2014.11.062
- Lavania M, Jadhav R, Turankar RP, Singh I, Nigam A, Sengupta U. Genotyping of M. leprae strains from region of highly endemic leprosy prevalence in India. Infect Genet & Evol. 2015; 36: 256-61. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.meegid.2015.10.001
- Singh I, Yadav AR, Mohanty KK, Katoch K, Sharma P, Mishra B, Bisht D, Gupta UD, Sengupta U. Molecular mimicry between Mycobacterium leprae proteins (50S ribosomal protein L2 and Lysyl-tRNA synthetase) and myelin basic protein: a possible mechanism of nerve damage in leprosy. Microbes Infect. 2015; 17(4): 247-57. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.micinf.2014.12.015
- Nigam A, Singh I, Turankar RP, Lavania M, Sengupta U. Alpha 1 acid glycoprotein: Increased serum and localized mRNA expression as a monitor for reactions in leprosy. SOJ Microbiology and Infectious Diseases. 2015. 3 (3), 1-4.
- Lavania M, Nigam A, Turankar RP, Singh I, Gupta P, Kumar S, Sengupta U, John AS. Emergence of primary drug resistance to rifampicin in M. leprae strains from leprosy patients in India. Clin Microbiol Infect. 2015; 21: e85-6. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cmi.2015.08.004
- Vedithi SC, Lavania M, Kumar M, Kaur P, Turankar RP, Singh I, Nigam A, Sengupta U. A report of rifampin-resistant leprosy from northern and eastern India: Identification and in silico analysis of molecular interactions. Med Microbiol Immunol. 2015. 204: 193 – 203. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00430-014-0354-1
- Lavania M, Turankar R, Singh I, Nigam A, Sengupta U. Detection of Mycobacterium gilvum first time from the bathing water of leprosy patient from Purulia, West Bengal. Int J of Mycobact. 2014. 3 (4): 286-289. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijmyco.2014.10.005
- Chaitanya VS, Lavania M, Nigam A, Turankar RP, Singh I, Horo I, Sengupta U, Jadhav RS. Cortisol and proinflammatory cytokine profiles in type 1 (reversal) reactions of leprosy. Immunol Lett. 2013. 156: 159-167. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.imlet.2013.10.008
- Singh I, Yadav AR, Mohanty KK, Katoch K, Bisht D, Sharma P, Sharma B, Gupta UD, Sengupta U. Molecular mimicry between HSP 65 of Mycobacterium leprae and cytokeratin 10 of the host keratin; Role in pathogenesis of leprosy. Cell Immunol. 2012; 278: 63-75. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cellimm.2012.06.011
- Hussain T, Sinha S, Katoch K, Yadav VS, Kulshreshtha KK, Singh I, Sengupta U, Katoch VM. Serum samples from patients with mycobacterial infections cross-react with HIV structural proteins Gp41, p55 and p18. Lepr Rev. 2007; 78 (2): 137-147. https://doi.org/10.47276/lr.78.2.137
Publications in Books
- Turankar RP, Singh I, Lavania M, Sengupta U. Advances in investigations for diagnosis of leprosy and drug resistance. In: Sacchidanand S, Savitha AS, Shilpa K, Shashi Kumar BM, editors. IADVL Textbook of Dermatology. 5th edition. Bhalani Publishing House: Mumbai, India; 2022, 3907 – 3919.
Studies on the association of vitamin D level with leprosy spectrum and reactions (completed)
To study the role of mimicking proteins (peptides) of host and M. leprae in the pathogenesis of type 1 reaction (completed)
Genomic markers for pathological variants and transmission of leprosy bacilli (ongoing)
Development and evaluation of molecular viability assay for quantitative estimation of viable M. leprae in clinical samples (ongoing)
Development of field based diagnostic test for early diagnosis of leprosy (ongoing)
To study transmission of drug resistant strains of M. leprae in endemic community of Purulia, West Bengal and Chattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh (approved for funding)
Cohort Study to Understand Focal Transmission of Leprosy in Multi-case Families from Endemic Regions (completed)
Study on the Transmission of Mycobacterium leprae Infection in Children from Source Cases in Leprosy-Families of Purulia (West Bengal) and Champa (Chattisgarh) Districts of India (completed)
Cohort study to understand the status of M.leprae viability and its positivity in nose with one dose of Rifampicin in multidrug regimen of leprosy (ongoing)
Study of environmental M.leprae and transmission link in leprosy: Can environmental M. leprae transmit infection in experimental mice? (ongoing)
Resistance to anti-leprosy drugs in multi-bacillary leprosy patients: A prospective observational study from tertiary care health institute in Uttarakhand (approved)