Onchocerciasis News and Research RSS Feed - Onchocerciasis News and Research

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).
Researchers developing new medication to tackle river blindness and elephantiasis

Researchers developing new medication to tackle river blindness and elephantiasis

Researchers are developing new drug treatments to tackle river blindness and elephantiasis, which affect up to 150 million people across the world. [More]
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

The Global Health Innovative Technology Fund, a new public health partnership that is bringing Japanese know-how and investment to the global fight against infectious diseases, today announced three grants worth a total of US$6.8 million to speed the development of innovative drugs for some of the world’s most neglected diseases—schistosomiasis, Chagas disease and parasitic roundworms. [More]
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

The Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine (LSTM) together with colleagues at the Department of Chemistry (University of Liverpool (UoL)) and Japanese pharmaceutical company Eisai are pleased to announce that they have been awarded a Global Health Innovative Technology (GHIT) Fund to develop new drugs to target lymphatic filariasis and onchocerciasis. [More]
Study finds persistent deficiency in new therapeutics for neglected diseases

Study finds persistent deficiency in new therapeutics for neglected diseases

In a study published today in the open-access journal The Lancet Global Health, the Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative and other researchers report a persistent deficiency in truly new therapeutics for neglected diseases, despite nominal progress and an acceleration in research and development efforts. This continued 'fatal imbalance' in medical R&D points to the urgent need to develop and deliver groundbreaking new treatments for the world's poorest and most neglected patients. [More]

LSTM professor awarded The Manson Medal for outstanding contribution in field of tropical medicine

The Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine (LSTM) is delighted that Emeritus Professor and Senior Professional Fellow, David Molyneux, has been awarded The Manson Medal, the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene's highest mark of distinction. [More]
DFID awards 5-year grant to DNDi to advance research and development for neglected diseases

DFID awards 5-year grant to DNDi to advance research and development for neglected diseases

The UK Department for International Development (DFID) has announced its renewed support to the Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi), allocating a total of - 30 million (- 35 million) over the coming five years (2013-2018) to DNDi's Research & Development (R&D) portfolio to fight neglected diseases. [More]
Human filariasis research: an interview with Professor Mark Taylor, Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine

Human filariasis research: an interview with Professor Mark Taylor, Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine

Filariasis refers to a group of diseases caused by parasitic worms, which are transmitted by blood feeding insects. Two species infect the lymphatic and blood systems causing lymphatic filariasis, which in some people can lead to gross swelling of the limbs and 'elephantiasis'. [More]

Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine receives US$ 10 million to continue research against human filariasis

Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine (LSTM) has received US$ 10 million from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to continue their breakthrough drug discovery and development research against human filariasis - parasitic worm infections which cause river blindness and elephantiasis, some of the world’s most debilitating diseases affecting up to 150 million people in 83 countries throughout the tropics. [More]

Lindsley F. Kimball Research Institute receives grant for global health and development research project

The Lindsley F. Kimball Research Institute of the New York Blood Center announced today that it is a Grand Challenges Explorations winner, an initiative funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. [More]

Anacor signs research agreement to discover drug candidates to treat neglected diseases

Anacor Pharmaceuticals today announced that it has signed a research agreement with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (the Gates Foundation) to discover drug candidates intended to treat two filarial worm diseases (onchocerciasis, or river blindness, and lymphatic filariasis, commonly known as elephantiasis) and tuberculosis. [More]

TSRI receives fund to develop new field test for Onchocerciasis

Philanthropist, businessman and community leader John Moores has given The Scripps Research Institute approximately $2 million to fund the development of a new field test for Onchocerciasis, or river blindness, a parasitic infection that affects tens of millions of people in Africa, Latin America and other tropical regions. [More]

New Pope will need to consider burden of NTDs

"Almost certainly, in its deliberations [to select a new Pope,] the conclave of cardinals will consider a number of difficult and well-publicized problems now facing the Catholic Church," Peter Hotez, co-editor in chief of PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases, writes in the journal's "Speaking of Medicine" blog. [More]
Disease eradication efforts set sights on polio, Guinea worm

Disease eradication efforts set sights on polio, Guinea worm

"It's not a race, exactly, but there's an intriguing uncertainty about whether a former U.S. president or a software magnate will cause the next deliberate extinction of a species in the wild. Will Jimmy Carter eradicate Guinea worm before Bill Gates eradicates polio?" Wall Street Journal commentator Matt Ridley asks in his "Mind & Matter" column. [More]

Head-scratching persists despite nodding syndrome study

Nodding syndrome is an epileptic disorder, with telltale nodding episodes caused by atonic seizures, concludes a pioneering study of the mysterious neurologic illness that has been reported in only three African countries. [More]

WHO reports unprecedented progress against 17 neglected tropical diseases

WHO reports unprecedented progress against 17 neglected tropical diseases, thanks to a new global strategy, a regular supply of quality assured, cost-effective medicines and support from global partners. [More]

NEJM examines global disease eradication efforts

"Since the last case of naturally occurring smallpox, in 1977, there have been three major international conferences devoted to the concept of disease eradication," an article in the New England Journal of Medicine reports and includes "a brief review of five diseases selected for eradication or elimination that illustrate the potential benefits of such efforts and some of the challenges they pose." [More]

Guardian examines challenges of eliminating river blindness in Africa

The Guardian's "Global Development Professionals Network" blog "reports on the challenges of eliminating river blindness from Africa by 2025." [More]

Recognizing pharmaceutical philanthropy's role in fighting NTDs

"In October 1987, Roy Vagelos, then the chief executive of pharmaceutical company Merck, launched the largest pharmaco-philanthropic venture ever," William Foege, an epidemiologist and former director of the CDC, writes in a Washington Post opinion piece highlighting the company's efforts to combat onchocerciasis in the developing world through the free distribution of its drug Mectizan. [More]

Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health epidemiologist receives Dean's Medal honor

Michael J. Klag, MD, MPH, dean of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, has awarded the Dean's Medal-the School's highest honor-to William Foege, MD, MPH. Foege is a celebrated epidemiologist and physician who played a leading role in many of the important public health campaigns of the past half-century, including efforts to eradicate smallpox and to control onchocerciasis (the cause of river blindness) and guinea worm. [More]

Water scarcity may cause global instability, U.S. intelligence agencies say in report

U.S. intelligence agencies released a report on Thursday warning that "[d]rought, floods and a lack of fresh water may cause significant global instability and conflict in the coming decades, as developing countries scramble to meet demand from exploding populations while dealing with the effects of climate change," the Associated Press reports. [More]