River Blindness News and Research RSS Feed - River Blindness News and Research

River Blindness or onchocerciasis is caused by the prelarval (microfilaria) and adult stages of the filarial nematode Onchocerca volvulus. The disease is transmitted by the bite of certain species of female Simulium flies (black flies) that bite by day and are found near rapidly flowing rivers and streams. 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]
New tools for neglected diseases: an interview with Dr. BT Slingsby, CEO, GHIT Fund

New tools for neglected diseases: an interview with Dr. BT Slingsby, CEO, GHIT Fund

Nearly 3.3 billion people, a little less than half of our world’s population, are at risk of malaria, TB and what we call “neglected tropical diseases”—diseases caused by worms, parasites, viruses and bacteria like Chagas disease, river blindness, elephantiasis, sleeping sickness, etc. [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]
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]
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]

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]
UCSF teams to study new ways to reduce childhood mortality and disease in developing nations

UCSF teams to study new ways to reduce childhood mortality and disease in developing nations

Two UCSF teams have received a total of $16 million from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to study new ways to significantly reduce childhood mortality and disease in developing nations. [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]
Avermectin family of drugs shows promise against TB

Avermectin family of drugs shows promise against TB

A well-established family of drugs used to treat parasitic diseases is showing surprising potential as a therapy for tuberculosis (TB), according to new research from University of British Columbia microbiologists. [More]

Global development partners meet in Washington to discuss NTD control efforts

"'Hundreds of millions of children and adults in Africa live at risk of disfigurement, impaired development, blindness, and even death from seven major preventable so-called neglected tropical diseases [NTDs], including river blindness, elephantiasis, trachoma, and various types of intestinal parasites,' said World Bank President Jim Yong Kim at the opening of a November 16-18 conference in Washington D.C.: Uniting to Combat NTDs: Translating the London Declaration into Action," the World Bank reports in an article on its webpage. [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]

Black fly's blood-sucking tactics may be used for medical advancement

Black flies drink blood and spread disease such as river blindness-creating misery with their presence. A University of Georgia study, however, proves that the pesky insects can be useful. [More]
CNN examines nodding disease among children in Northern Uganda

CNN examines nodding disease among children in Northern Uganda

CNN examines nodding disease, a seizure disorder that has affected at least 3,000 children in Northern Uganda, as well as children in Liberia, Sudan, and Tanzania. [More]

Ugandan government draws up response plan to combat 'nodding disease'

The Ugandan government is creating a "wide-ranging response plan" to "nodding disease, a mysterious ailment characterized by seizures, nodding of the head, mental retardation and stunting, which affects thousands of children in northern Uganda," IRIN reports. [More]