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

Scientists create new models of tropical eye worm for development of anti-filarial drugs

Scientists create new models of tropical eye worm for development of anti-filarial drugs

New anti-Wolbachia drug could potentially treat onchocerciasis and lymphatic filariasis

New anti-Wolbachia drug could potentially treat onchocerciasis and lymphatic filariasis

LSTM led partnership receives funding to develop drug for treating two neglected tropical diseases

LSTM led partnership receives funding to develop drug for treating two neglected tropical diseases

Scientists develop urine diagnostic to detect parasitic worms that cause river blindness

Scientists develop urine diagnostic to detect parasitic worms that cause river blindness

Researchers use smartphone to diagnose people infected with Loa loa worm

Researchers use smartphone to diagnose people infected with Loa loa worm

Neglected tropical diseases to be tackled in Africa’s poorest communities

Neglected tropical diseases to be tackled in Africa’s poorest communities

LoaScope could be valuable approach in the fight against river blindness

LoaScope could be valuable approach in the fight against river blindness

LSTM researchers find new way to reduce treatment for some parasitic diseases

LSTM researchers find new way to reduce treatment for some parasitic diseases

WHO announces new flagship programs for African region over next two years

WHO announces new flagship programs for African region over next two years

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