Lymphatic filariasis is a parasitic disease caused by microscopic, thread-like worms. The adult worms only live in the human lymph system. The lymph system maintains the body's fluid balance and fights infections. Lymphatic filariasis is spread from person to person by mosquitoes.
People with the disease can suffer from lymphedema and elephantiasis and in men, swelling of the scrotum, called hydrocele. Lymphatic filariasis is a leading cause of permanent disability worldwide. Communities frequently shun and reject women and men disfigured by the disease. Affected people frequently are unable to work because of their disability, and this harms their families and their communities.
In a major breakthrough that comes after decades of research and nearly half a billion treatments in humans, scientists have finally unlocked how a key anti-parasitic drug kills the worms brought on by the filarial diseases river blindness and elephantitis.
The WHO "must demonstrate strong leadership backed by impeccable technical competency, [Malaysian] Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said" at the opening ceremony of the 61st Session of the WHO Regional Committee for the Western Pacific Monday, Bernama reports.
An Iowa State University researcher searched for new genes that are turned on during infection in a type of mosquito that is not only a pest, but transmits disease-causing pathogens.
Single-disease initiatives in low-income countries with fragile health systems may compromise the ability of such health systems to meet the other community needs, according to a study published Tuesday in PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases, VaccineNewsDaily.com reports (Purlain, 8/18).
On Tuesday at the 12th International Congress of Parasitology, a group of scientists, led by researchers at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, launched an online series of maps showing the distribution and prevalence of worm infections across Africa, Tropika.net reports (Chinnock, 8/17).
The Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV) today became the first product development partnership (PDP) to contribute intellectual property to the Pool for Open Innovation against Neglected Tropical Diseases. MMV joins GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in contributing to the Pool, which is administered by BIO Ventures for Global Health (BVGH).
Community-based lymphatic filariasis education in Orissa State, India, increased treatment compliance from around 50% to up to 90%, according to a study published June 29 in the open-access journal PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases. In their study, researchers from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in partnership with the Church's Auxiliary for Social Action, an India-based non-governmental organization, and IMA World Health, a US-based non-governmental organization, identified barriers to compliance with India's MDA program for LF, and suggest that timely educational and lymphedema management programs can reverse this trend.
Merck today announced plans to initiate a Phase II investigational proof-of-concept clinical study to evaluate its oral antifungal agent posaconazole for the treatment of chronic Chagas disease. Chagas disease results from infection with the parasite Trypanosoma cruzi that is spread by biting insects. The disease is estimated to affect approximately eight million people in Latin America, of whom approximately 30-40 percent will develop serious cardiac disease, digestive disease, or both as a result of this infection.
Representatives from more than 50 countries attended the Sixth Meeting of the Global Alliance to Eliminate Lymphatic Filariasis (GAELF) in Seoul last week, to review the progress of the Global Programme to Eliminate Lymphatic Filariasis (Global Programme), which seeks to eliminate the disease by 2020.
In its 2009 Corporate Responsibility Report published online today, GSK reiterated its commitment to running its business responsibly and to making the company more responsive, more flexible and more open to the expectations of society.
Drug maker GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) "plans to bolster earnings by selling to more people in middle-income countries after cutting prices in the world's poorest nations," Bloomberg/BusinessWeek reports.
While disaster response is a highly technical and sensitive effort, the most qualified of disaster professionals require additional education or real-life experience to ensure that help is delivered effectively, safely and efficiently. To assist nursing professionals volunteering their services in Haiti, Chamberlain College of Nursing in cooperation with the Johnson & Johnson Campaign for Nursing's Future, will provide free online training Webinars hosted on the Gannett Healthcare Group's newly launched Haiti Web page to prepare nurses physically, mentally and culturally for the continued relief efforts.
In an effort to eliminate the tropical diseases elephantiasis and river blindness, a Michigan State University researcher has been awarded $2 million to reformulate an existing drug that could stop the debilitating diseases in their tracks.
"The Obama administration is expected to propose in its fiscal 2011 budget Monday new funding to combat preventable and tropical diseases, malnutrition and other conditions afflicting the world's poor, as part of a strategy to broaden its approach to global health," the Wall Street Journal reports.
BIO Ventures for Global Health, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), and Alnylam announced today that the organizations are partnering to engage the global health community in using the powerful resources of the GSK and Alnylam Intellectual Property (IP) Pool.
The Centre for Neglected Tropical Diseases (CNTD) at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine has been awarded £10 million by the UK Department for International Development (DFID) to support endemic countries in tackling lymphatic filariasis (LF) - a crippling disease more commonly known as elephantiasis.
Leaders from Haiti and the Dominican Republic "agreed Thursday to cooperate in a campaign aimed at eradicating the last vestiges of malaria from the islands of the Caribbean by 2020," but funding sources for the estimated $250 million effort are "uncertain," the Associated Press reports.
At the Clinton Global Initiative today, the Inter-American Development Bank joined with the Global Network for Neglected Tropical Diseases to announce their commitment to mobilize $30 million from the public and private sectors to raise awareness and funding for NTD control and elimination in the Americas, supported by technical assistance from the Pan American Health Organization, regional office of the World Health Organization for the Americas.
New biotechnologies that allow scientists to quickly and accurately distinguish species based on a simple DNA analysis are being creatively deployed for the first time in the war against a major global disease.
Stating that neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) not only promote poverty but also destabilize communities, former Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson and Sabin Vaccine Institute President Peter Hotez call upon the public-health and foreign-policy communities to embrace medical diplomacy and NTD control as a means to combat terrorism in an article published January 27 in the open-access journal PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases.