Onchocerciasis News and Research

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Onchocerciasis is a parasitic disease caused by the filarial worm Onchocerca volvulus. It is transmitted through the bites of infected blackflies of Simulium species, which carry immature larval forms of the parasite from human to human. In the human body, the larvae form nodules in the subcutaneous tissue, where they mature to adult worms. After mating, the female adult worm can release up to 1000 microfilariae a day. These move through the body, and when they die they cause a variety of conditions, including blindness, skin rashes, lesions, intense itching and skin depigmentation. Onchocerciasis is endemic in more than 25 nations located in a broad band across the central part of Africa. Small endemic foci are also present in the Arabian Peninsula (Yemen) and in the Americas (Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Guatemala, southern Mexico, and Venezuela).

Further Reading

WHO marching toward extraordinary progress against neglected tropical diseases, report reveals

WHO marching toward extraordinary progress against neglected tropical diseases, report reveals

Vaxine’s unique adjuvants boost effectiveness of vaccines for battling against infectious diseases

Vaxine’s unique adjuvants boost effectiveness of vaccines for battling against infectious diseases

Researchers sequence genome of parasitic worm that causes river blindness

Researchers sequence genome of parasitic worm that causes river blindness

Controlling corneal blindness by 2030: an interview with Dr Pravin Vaddavalli

Controlling corneal blindness by 2030: an interview with Dr Pravin Vaddavalli

PATH and SD/Alere announce commercial availability of two diagnostic tools for NTDs

PATH and SD/Alere announce commercial availability of two diagnostic tools for NTDs

Researchers take major step towards developing vaccine for river blindness

Researchers take major step towards developing vaccine for river blindness

Kilimanjaro Project receives 2015 António Champalimaud Vision Award

Kilimanjaro Project receives 2015 António Champalimaud Vision Award

Researchers receive Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation grant to eliminate neglected tropical diseases

Researchers receive Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation grant to eliminate neglected tropical diseases

Smartphone checks blood for parasitic disease

Smartphone checks blood for parasitic disease

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

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

COUNTDOWN research consortium focuses on neglected tropical diseases

COUNTDOWN research consortium focuses on neglected tropical diseases

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

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

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

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

Grand Challenges Canada announces $1.2 million in grant for 11 new global health innovations

Grand Challenges Canada announces $1.2 million in grant for 11 new global health innovations

New, easy-to-use test to accelerate progress toward eliminating onchocerciasis in Africa

New, easy-to-use test to accelerate progress toward eliminating onchocerciasis in Africa

Blackflies infected with Onchocerca volvulus parasite may spread nodding syndrome

Blackflies infected with Onchocerca volvulus parasite may spread nodding syndrome

Celgene Global Health, DNDi expand partnership to identify new drug candidates for NTDs

Celgene Global Health, DNDi expand partnership to identify new drug candidates for NTDs

Researchers developing new medication to tackle river blindness and elephantiasis

Researchers developing new medication to tackle river blindness and elephantiasis

GHIT Fund announces grants to speed up innovative drug development for neglected diseases

GHIT Fund announces grants to speed up innovative drug development for neglected diseases

LSTM and University of Liverpool receive GHIT Fund to target lymphatic filariasis and onchocerciasis

LSTM and University of Liverpool receive GHIT Fund to target lymphatic filariasis and onchocerciasis