International Leprosy Association -
History of Leprosy

  • International Leprosy Association -
    History of Leprosy


    Dr M D Gupte

    Status Physician
    Country India


    Dr Gupte Mohan Digambar is the current Director of the National Institute of Epidemiology in Chennai (Madras), Tamil Nadu, India.

    He completed his MBBS in 1970 at the BJ Medical College of Poona, Pune. He also received his DPH in Public Health in 1973 and his MD in Preventive and Social Medicine in 1975 from the same institution.

    From 1972 until 1976, he lectured post-intermediate students, such as medical interns, nurses, sanitary inspectors, and others in preventive and social medicine as well as conducting epidemiological work.

    From April 1976 until August 1976, he was a reader in preventive and social medicine, at the Medical College, Miraj, as well as being responsible for the Health Unit at the Tasgaon Medical College, Miraj. At this time, he undertook the training of medical interns and health auxiliaries, as well as the associated administrative responsibilities.

    From August 1976 until November 1979, he was both deputy director and later acting director of the Gandhi Memorial Leprosy Foundation. This work included acting as administrative head of the institute, conducting field research, and continuing the training of health auxiliaries and medical officers in leprosy work.

    From the end of 1979 until June 1983, he worked initially as reader and then as professor and head of preventive and social medicine, at the Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences, Sevagram. This included teaching under-graduate and post-graduate students, and para-medical workers, as well as conducting epidemiological investigations in tuberculosis, leprosy research, and primary health care.

    From June 1983 until July 1999, he worked for the Indian Council of Medical Research in five successive capacities. Firstly, he worked at the Tuberculosis Research Centre as deputy director and researcher in a leprosy prevention trial using BCG and doing tuberculosis epidemiology, and as head of the unit at Thiruvallur. Next he worked as officer in charge/deputy director of the CJI Field Unit, at Avadi, Madras, as director at the Institute for Research in Medical Statistics at Chetpet, Madras, and as officer in charge of the Central Biostatistical Monitoring Unit, Madras. At present (from July 1999 onwards), he is the director of the National Institute of Epidemiology, at Chetput, Chennai.

    Dr Gupte Mohan Digambar has acted for WHO in the following capacities:
    WHO Epidemiologist for Smallpox Eradication Campaign in Uttar Pradesh in 1974;
    Consultant at WHO headquarters, Geneva on Leprosy in 1980; member of the ICMR Task Force on Immunoprophylaxis and Immunotherapy of Leprosy; member of the WHO Study Group on the "Epidemiology of Leprosy in Relation to Control" in November 1983 and chair of one of three sub-groups formulated in the study group meeting; member of the epidemiology sub-group for IMMLEP, WHO; member of the IMMLEP Steering Committee, WHO, Geneva (1987-92); WHO Consultant (leprosy) in Korea and the Philippines from 7-19 January 1990; vice chairman for the international meeting on epidemiology of leprosy held in Jakarta, Indonesia June 1991; member of the THEMYC Steering Committee, WHO Geneva from 1993 onwards; member - Malawi Vaccine Trial Evaluation, 1995; member of the WHO Leprosy Advisory Group (LEAG), 1995, 1997; member of the WHO Task Force on Monitoring and Evaluation of leprosy (MEE), 1995-96; Chairman of the WHO technical advisory group on elimination of leprosy 2000-2001; member of the working group on communicable diseases; chairperson of the technical resource group on epidemiology; member of the WHO expert advisory panel on leprosy.

    In a national capacity:
    Epidemiologist for the first multi-drug regimen project against leprosy at Wardha, Maharashtra; member of the national leprosy eradication programme evaluation teams; member of the working group on "Medical, Health Research and Development" of the planning commission of the 8th Five Year Plan 1990-95; member secretary of the advisory committee and monitoring committee for the leprosy vaccine trial in South India and principal investigator for the scheme.

    In an institutional capacity:
    Member of the pre-congress workshop on "Epidemiology and Control" for the XII International Leprosy Congress, New Delhi, 1984; chairman for the pre-congress workshop on "Leprosy Vaccine Trials" of the XII International Leprosy Congress, held at The Hague, The Netherlands, September 1988; member of the editorial board of the Indian Journal of Leprosy; member secretary of the monitoring committee for the leprosy vaccine trial; member of SLRTC, Karigiri task force and research advisory panel; consultant epidemiologist for the multi-centric study on posterior tibial nerve decompression for prevention of occurrence and recurrence of plantar ulcers; chairman for the scientific committee of XVIII Biennial Conference of Indian Association of Leprologists, 1994; president of Indian Association of Leprologists (1994-95); visiting professor for JIPMER, Pondicherry -1995; and facilitator of the regional workshop on "Epidemic Preparedness and Response" conducted at the National Institute of Communicable Diseases, New Delhi, April 2000.

    Treatment Used/Researched:
    Immunoprophylaxis and Immunotherapy Dr Gupte was involved in the Malawi Vaccine Trial Evaluation in 1995. He has also been principal investigator for leprosy vaccine trials in South India.

    Research Institute(s) associated with:
    Indian Council of Medical Research
    Dr Gupte's work has included research, teaching, and administration. He has worked mainly as an epidemiologist, but has also been involved in BCG trials and the investigation of the feasibility of a leprosy vaccine.


    "Management of Cholera in Velu."Maharashtra Medical Journal 28 (1971): 309-313.

    MD Gupte and PV Sathe."The Epidemiological Investigation of an Outbreak of Food Poisoning." Medical Journal of Western India (1972): 9-13.

    "Leprosy Control: Problems and Possibilities." Medico Friend Circle Bulletin 51 (1979): 39.

    "Dapsone Treatment and Deformities - A Retrospective Study" Leprosy in India 51 (1979): 218-235.

    MD Gupte, MG Ranade, R Mahadevan and GY Joshi. "Trend of Leprosy in Sevagram Unit" Leprosy in India 51 (1979): 563-4.

    Indira Nath, RB Narayanan, NK Mehra, AK Sharma, and MD Gupte. "Concanavalin: An Induced Suppressor Activity in Human Leprosy." Journal of Clinical + Laboratory Immunology 2.4 (1979): 319-24.

    Sushila Nayar, BK Mahajan, SB Taranekar, and MD Gupte. "Services to a Rural Community Around Sevagram in the Year 1974, 1977 and 1979." Indian Journal of Community Medicine 5(1980): 36-46.

    RRP de Vries, NK Mehra, MC Vaidya, MD Gupte, P Merakhan, and JJ Van Rood. "HLA-linked Control of Susceptibility to Tuberculoid Leprosy and Associated with HLA-DR Types." Tissue Antigens 16 (1980): 294-304.

    Review of the Present Knowledge in Epidemiology of Leprosy LMP/SG/WP/83.2 (WHO Study Group on Epidemiology of Leprosy in Relation to Control, Geneva, 7-11 Nov 1983.)

    MD Gupte, SR Khirwadkar, MV Yellapurkar, and MS Nilakanta Rao. "Sample Survey for Estimating Leprosy Prevalence in Wardha District, India" XII International Leprosy Congress - Proceedings. New Delhi, Feb 20-25, 1984, 587-90.

    "Leprosy Vaccines - A Critical Assessment." Indian Journal of Leprosy (Supplement) 56.2 (1984): 469-472.

    Epidemiology of Leprosy in Relation to Control. Report of a WHO Study Group.Technical Report Series 716, WHO, Geneva, 1985.

    Joint Meeting of Indian and Chemotherapy of Leprosy (THELEP - WHO) Scientists on Multi-Drug Therapy in Leprosy, SLRTC, Karigiri, 1988. "Epidemiological Evaluation of Multi-Drug Therapy Programmes." Proceedings, 97-100.

    A Daniel Raj, S Kannan and K V Desikan. "Reliability of Direct Skin Smear Microscopy in Leprosy" Indian Journal of Leprosy 60.4 (1988): 566-71.

    "Leprosy Vaccine." Health Administrator 6.1 (1988): 100-113

    MD Gupte and DS Anantharaman. "Use of Soluble Antigens in Leprosy Epidemiology." Leprosy Review 59.4 (1988): 329-35

    RS Vallishayee, TH Masood Ahmed, MD Gupte, et al."Studies on Rapid Assessment Methods in Leprosy." Indian Journal of Leprosy 70.2 (1988): 165-77

    "Epidemiological Aspects of MDT Programme." Proceedings of the IAL Workshop on Multidrug Therapy, Trichur, 12th November 1989, 15-23.

    MD Gupte, DS Anantharaman, B Nagaraju, S Kannan, and RS Vallishayee. "Experiences with Mycobacterium Leprae Soluble Antigens in a Leprosy Endemic Population."Leprosy Review 61.2 (1990): 132-44.

    MD Gupte, RS Vallishayee, et al. "Inter-Observer Agreement and Clinical Diagnosis of Leprosy for Prophylaxis Studies." Indian Journal of Leprosy 62.3 (1990): 281-95.

    "Vaccines Against Leprosy." Indian Journal of Leprosy: Dharmendra Commemorative Volume 63: 3-4 (1991): 342-49.

    "Epidemiology in the Context of Leprosy Eradication." Dimensions of Leprosy Eradication: GLRA Silver Jubilee Commemorative Volume. 1991: 1-7.

    MD Gupte, S Ramakrishnan, RS Vallishayee, DS Anantharaman, and S Kannan. "Effect of Skin Test with M Leprae Soluble Antigen on Reaction to a Subsequent Test with the Same Antigen." International Journal of Leprosy 60.1 (1992): 54-60.

    Editorial: "Venezuela Results and After." Indian Journal of Leprosy 64.4 (1992): 451-459.

    MD Gupte, DS Anantharaman, RLJD Britto, RS Vallishayee, B Nagaraju, S Kannan and U Sengupta. "Sensitization Potential and Retrogenicity of BCG With and Without Various Doses of Killed M Leprae." International Journal of Leprosy 60.3 (1992): 340-45.

    MD Gupte, RS Vallishayee, DS Anantharaman and S Kannan. "Effect of Skin Test with M Leprae Soluble Antigen on Reaction to a Subsequent Test with the Same Antigen." International Journal of Leprosy 60.3 (1992): 340-52.

    "The Relevance of Future Leprosy Vaccines to Disease Control." Leprosy Review 63 (1992) Supplement: 90s-105s.

    "Early Diagnosis of Leprosy Under Field Conditions." Indian Journal of Leprosy 65.1 (1993): 3-12.

    MD Gupte, RS Vallishayee, RLJD Britto, and DS Anantharaman. "Sensitization Potential and Reactogenicity of Varying Doses of BCG Plus Killed Mycrobacterium Leprae: An Extended Study." International Journal of Leprosy 61.4 (1993): 563-70.

    "Elimination of Leprosy: Forecasts and Projections." Indian Journal of Leprosy 66.1 (1994): 19-35.

    B Nagaraju and MD Gupte. "Diagnostic Problems of Early Leprosy in Field Studies." Indian Journal of Leprosy 66.4 (1994): 463-72.

    "Ethics in Epidemiological Studies." Law and Medicine 2.1 (1996): 102-10.

    RS Vallishayee, MD Gupte, et al. "Post-Vaccination Sensitization with ICRC Vaccine." Indian Journal of Leprosy 68.2 (1996): 315-24.

    "Research Needs Related to Epidemiology and Control: Subclinical Infection."International Journal of Leprosy 64.4 (Supplement) (1996): S29-S37.

    RS Vallishayee, DS Anantharaman, MD Gupte, et al. "Sensitization and Reactogenicity of Two Doses of Candidate Antileprosy Vaccine Mycobacterium w." Indian Journal of Leprosy 69.2 (1997): 121-9.

    Single-lesion Multicentre Trial Group. "Efficacy of Single Dose Multidrug Therapy for the Treatment of Single-Lesion Puacibacillary Leprosy." Indian Journal of Leprosy 69.2 (1997): 121-29.

    RLJ Britto, D Ramanathan, and MD Gupte. "Regional Lymphadenitis Following Anti-Leprosy Vaccine BCG with Killed Mycobacterium Leprae." International Journal of Leprosy 65.1 (1997): 12-19.

    Abraham Meima, MD Gupte, GJ Van Oortmarssen, and JDF Habbema. "Trends in Leprosy Case Detection Rates." International Journal of Leprosy 65.3 (1997): 305-19.

    DS Anantharaman and MD Gupte. "Use of Soluble Antigens in Leprosy Epidemiology."Leprosy Review 59.4 (1998): 329-35.

    MD Gupte, RS Vallishayee, TH Masood Ahmed, JS Prince, RLJD Britto, B Rathanaraj, N Elango, S Balasubramaniam, B Nagaraju, and J Arokiasamy. "Studies on Rapid Assessment Methods in Leprosy." Indian Journal of Leprosy 70.2 (1998): 165-77

    RS Vallishayee, DS Anantharaman, MD Gupte. "Tuberculin Sensitivity and Skin Lesions in Children After Vaccination with Two Batches of BCG Vaccine." Indian Journal of Leprosy 70.3 (1998): 277-86.

    DK Sampath and MD Gupte. "Some Problems in the Area of Consent Raised and a Response." Law and Medicine 4 (1998): 53-59.

    "Field Trails of Anti-Leprosy Vaccines." Indian Journal of Leprosy 70.4 (1998): 363-67.

    "Vaccine Trials Against Leprosy." International Journal of Leprosy 66.4 (1998): 587-89

    RS Vallishayee, DS Anantharaman, MD Gupte, et al. "Comparative Leprosy Vaccine Trial in South India." Indian Journal of Leprosy 70.4 (1998): 369-88.

    M Hari Sreevatsa and MD Gupte. "Quality Control Tests for Vaccines in Leprosy Vaccine Trial." Indian Journal of Leprosy 70.4 (1998): 391-97.

    NSR Brahmachari, DS Anantharaman, BR Rao, MD Gupte, SK Rao, and VN Mahalingam. "Underutilization of the Available Services by the Needy Disabled Leprosy Patients in Government Leprosy Control Unit Puttoor, Chittor District, Andhra Pradesh, South India. Indian Journal of Leprosy 70 (1998) Supplement: 47s

    Chapter on "Leprosy: Epidemiology" for second edition of the IADVL Textbook and Atlas of Dermatology

    Chapter on "Epidemiology" for a technical series on Leprosy, published by the Association of Physicians of India.

    H Srinivasan and MD Gupte. "Experiences from Studies on Quiet Nerve Paralysis in Leprosy" in Peripheral Neuropathies, ed N H Antia.

    "Feasibility and Economics of Vaccine Trials in India" Proceedings of the Fifth Round Table Conference on Kala Azar-Ranbaxy Science Foundation: Round Table Conference Series 5, 1999: 85-94.

    MD Gupte and BN Murthy. "Lot Quality Assurance Sampling (LQAS) for Monitoring Leprosy Elimination Programme." International Journal of Leprosy 67.2 (1999).

    A Meima, MD Gupte, GJ van Oortmarssen, and JDF Habbema." SIMLEP: A Simulation Model for Leprosy Transmission and Control." International Journal of Leprosy 67 (1999): 215-36.

    "Vaccine Trials in Leprosy - Venezuela, Malawi and India." International Journal of Leprosy 67.4 (1999) Supplement S32-S37.

    DK Sampath and MD Gupte. "Ethical Issues Considered in Tamil Nadu Leprosy Vaccine Trial." Issues in Medical Ethics 8.1 (2000): 10-12.

    "Field Trials of a Single Dose of the Combination Rifampicin-Ofloxacin-Minocycline (ROM) for the Treatment of Paucibacillary Leprosy." Leprosy Review 71 (2000) Supplement S77-S80.

    MD Gupte, B Kishore Kumar, A Elangovan, J Arokiasamy. "Modelling Epidemiology of Leprosy." Indian Journal of Leprosy 72.3 (2000): 305-15.

    "South India Immunoprophylaxis Trial Against Leprosy: Relevance of the Findings in the Context of Trends in Leprosy." Leprosy Review 71 (2000) Supplement: S43-S49.

    "Single Dose Chemotherapy in Paucibacillary Leprosy Patients with 2-3 Skin Lesion. 2-3 Lesion Multicentre Trial Group, India." Indian Journal of Leprosy, April-June (2001).

    BN Murthy, M Subbiah, K Boopathi, R Ramakrishnan, and MD Gupte. "Lot Quality Assurance Sampling (LQAS) for Leprosy Elimination Monitoring in an Endemic District in Tamil Nadu." Indian Journal of Leprosy April-June 2001.

    Vidya Ramakrishnan, R K Mutatkar, and MD Gupte. "Epidemiological Profile of India: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives." Journal of Bioscience 26.4 Supplement (2001).

    MD Gupte, RLJ Britto, RS Vallishayee. "A Comparative Trial of Single Dose Chemotherapy in Paucibacillary Leprosy Patients with Two or Three Skin Lesions."Indian Journal of Leprosy 73.2 (2001): 131-43.

    "Field Trial of Leprosy Vaccines. Trends in Marlaria and Vaccine Research" 2002: 250-59.

    Some Reports:

    "Impact of MDT on Trend of Leprosy" Report on the IAL Workshop, Madras, 20-21 July 1993.

    "Simulation Modelling in Leprosy" Report on ICMR-WHO Workshop,, Madras, 4-7 February 1994.

    "Advanced Data Analysis and Applied Modelling" Report on the Workshop, VCRC, Pondicherry, 12-21 November 1995.

    "Rapid Assessment Methods in Leprosy" 1996

    "Managerial Model in Leprosy" 1997

    "Independent Evaluation of National Leprosy Eradication Programme, India" 2000

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