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Leishmaniasis is a parasitic disease transmitted by the bite of infected sand flies. It is found in nearly 88 countries, from rain forests in Central and South America to deserts in the Middle East and west Asia. Some cases of the disease have also appeared in Mexico and Texas.

Leishmaniasis takes several different forms, including the most common cutaneous leishmaniasis, which causes skin sores, and the more severe visceral leishmaniasis, which affects internal organs such as the spleen, liver, and bone marrow. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that there are 1.5 million new cases of cutaneous leishmaniasis and 500,000 new cases of visceral leishmaniasis in the world each year.
Further Reading
First-ever vaccine to combat Leishmaniasis under development

First-ever vaccine to combat Leishmaniasis under development

As scientists scramble to get a Zika virus vaccine into human trials by the end of the summer, a team of researchers is working on the first-ever vaccine to prevent another insect-borne disease - Leishmaniasis - from gaining a similar foothold in the Americas. [More]
GHIT Fund invests in two innovative malaria eradication tools

GHIT Fund invests in two innovative malaria eradication tools

The Global Health Innovative Technology Fund (GHIT Fund) announced today that it’s investing US$1,383,785 in a pair of innovative malaria eradication tools—a vaccine that could block transmission of two species of the deadly disease and a rapid field test that can reveal a malaria infection in minutes. [More]
Addition of just two DNA bases to LdAQP1 gene helps Black Fever parasite to overcome antimonial drugs

Addition of just two DNA bases to LdAQP1 gene helps Black Fever parasite to overcome antimonial drugs

Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute scientists show how the parasite responsible for the neglected tropical disease Black Fever (visceral leishmaniasis) can become resistant to drug treatment. Studying the whole genomes of more than 200 samples of Leishmania donovani revealed that the addition of just two bases of DNA to a gene known as LdAQP1 stops the parasite from absorbing antimonial drugs. [More]
Humans can tolerate parasites responsible for sleeping sickness, Chagas disease, leishmaniasis

Humans can tolerate parasites responsible for sleeping sickness, Chagas disease, leishmaniasis

Humans can tolerate the parasites responsible for the sleeping sickness, Chagas disease and leishmaniasis for many years. [More]
UI researchers remind US doctors to watch for two diseases that could be passed from mother to child

UI researchers remind US doctors to watch for two diseases that could be passed from mother to child

While world health leaders race to contain the spread of the mosquito-borne Zika virus in the Americas, researchers at the University of Iowa are reminding doctors in the United States to be on the lookout for two other vector-borne and potentially life-threatening diseases that can be passed from mother to child through the placenta. [More]
Simple diagnostic test can help fight deadly sleeping sickness

Simple diagnostic test can help fight deadly sleeping sickness

Scientists have developed a quick and simple diagnosis method, similar to a dipstick pregnancy test, to fight a deadly sleeping sickness. [More]
Risk of developing visceral leishmaniasis much higher in transplant patients

Risk of developing visceral leishmaniasis much higher in transplant patients

Researchers from Spain have analysed the prevalence of leishmaniasis among the population of organ transplant recipients. The findings of this study, published in the journal 'PLoS Neglected Tropical Disease', confirm that the risk of developing visceral leishmaniasis ‑the most severe form of the disease which can pose life-threatening complications‑ is more than one hundred times greater in transplant patients living in areas of disease outbreak. [More]
GHIT Fund invests $10.7 million to fight malaria, TB, leishmaniasis and dengue

GHIT Fund invests $10.7 million to fight malaria, TB, leishmaniasis and dengue

The Global Health Innovative Technology Fund, which in the last two years has invested US$43 million to develop innovative tools for fighting diseases worldwide, today announced it is investing $10.7 million at multiple points in the product development pipeline to seek new interventions for malaria, tuberculosis (TB), leishmaniasis and dengue. [More]
DNDi announces successful completion of SCYX-7158 Phase I study for treatment of sleeping sickness

DNDi announces successful completion of SCYX-7158 Phase I study for treatment of sleeping sickness

The Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi) has announced today at the 9th European Congress on Tropical Medicine and International Health in Basel, Switzerland, the successful completion of Phase I human clinical trials for SCYX-7158 (AN5568), the first oral drug candidate specifically developed from the earliest drug discovery stage to combat human African trypanosomiasis, or sleeping sickness, a deadly parasitic disease transmitted by the tsetse fly. [More]
DNDi unveils plans to better respond to the needs of neglected patients

DNDi unveils plans to better respond to the needs of neglected patients

After having built the world's largest drug development pipeline for the most neglected diseases, the Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi) has unveiled plans for a more flexible, dynamic portfolio approach, integrating various operating models to better respond to the needs of patients, notably in low- and middle-income countries. The plan also paves the way for new diseases to be taken up in DNDi's portfolio. [More]
Cepheid, FIND unveil new portable molecular diagnostics system for patients suspected of TB, HIV and Ebola

Cepheid, FIND unveil new portable molecular diagnostics system for patients suspected of TB, HIV and Ebola

Cepheid and FIND today unveiled the GeneXpert Omni, the world's most portable molecular diagnostics system enabling unprecedented access to accurate, fast and potentially life-saving diagnosis for patients suspected of TB, HIV and Ebola in even the most remote areas of the world. [More]
Bay Area Lyme Foundation announces winners of 2015 Emerging Leader Award

Bay Area Lyme Foundation announces winners of 2015 Emerging Leader Award

Bay Area Lyme Foundation, the leading national nonprofit funder of innovative Lyme disease research, today announced that the winners of its 2015 Emerging Leader Award, are collaborators Nira Pollock, MD, PhD, and John Branda, MD. [More]

New ground-breaking initiative aims to find new treatments for leishmaniasis and Chagas disease

The Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative and four pharmaceutical firms, Eisai Co Ltd, Shionogi & Co Ltd, Takeda Pharmaceutical Ltd, and AstraZeneca plc have announced the start of a ground-breaking initiative to accelerate and cut the cost of early stage drug discovery for two of the world’s most neglected diseases, leishmaniasis and Chagas disease. [More]
GHIT Fund expands investments in leishmaniasis, diagnostic tests

GHIT Fund expands investments in leishmaniasis, diagnostic tests

The Global Health Innovative Technology Fund, which in the last two years has funded almost $32 million for innovative tools to tackle global infectious diseases, today announced additional investments of nearly $11 million that bring its portfolio to approximately $43 million. [More]
Cepheid, FIND announce receipt of CE-IVD status for Xpert HIV-1 Qual test

Cepheid, FIND announce receipt of CE-IVD status for Xpert HIV-1 Qual test

Cepheid and FIND today announced that Xpert HIV-1 Qual, a qualitative 90-minute molecular HIV test, has achieved CE-IVD status under the European Directive on In Vitro Diagnostic Medical Devices. [More]
India and Canada announce funding to improve maternal, child health in India

India and Canada announce funding to improve maternal, child health in India

Grand Challenges Canada, funded by the Government of Canada, and the Grand Challenges India initiative of the Department of Biotechnology, Government of India, today announced an investment of $2.5 million (CAD) in five health innovations in India. [More]
WHO urges affected countries to increase investment in tackling neglected tropical diseases

WHO urges affected countries to increase investment in tackling neglected tropical diseases

WHO urges affected countries to scale up their investment in tackling 17 neglected tropical diseases in order to improve the health and well-being of more than 1.5 billion people. This investment would represent as little as 0.1% of current domestic expenditure on health in affected low and middle income countries for the period 2015-2030. [More]
Scientists identify potential target to combat leishmaniasis

Scientists identify potential target to combat leishmaniasis

Research led by St. Jude Children's Research Hospital scientists has identified a potential target in the quest to develop a more effective treatment for leishmaniasis, a parasitic tropical disease that kills thousands and sickens more than 1 million people worldwide each year. [More]
DNDi awarded USAID grant to develop new treatments for river blindness, elephantiasis

DNDi awarded USAID grant to develop new treatments for river blindness, elephantiasis

The Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative has been awarded US$ 10 million by the United States Agency for International Development to develop new treatments for onchocerciasis (river blindness) and lymphatic filariasis (elephantiasis) - the first-ever USAID grant for neglected tropical disease research and development (R&D). [More]
Bayer, DNDi sign first agreement to develop new oral treatment for onchocerciasis

Bayer, DNDi sign first agreement to develop new oral treatment for onchocerciasis

Bayer HealthCare and the Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi) have signed an agreement under which Bayer will provide the active ingredient emodepside to support DNDi in its effort to develop a new oral drug to treat river blindness (or onchocerciasis). The world's second leading infectious cause of blindness, river blindness is a neglected tropical disease caused by a filarial worm. [More]
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