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

USF technology identifies locations of mosquitoes and helps eradicate malaria

USF technology identifies locations of mosquitoes and helps eradicate malaria

Q&A: COVID-19 pandemic has widened gender inequities in health

Q&A: COVID-19 pandemic has widened gender inequities in health

New drug targeting LF and onchocerciasis begins its first in human trial in Liverpool

New drug targeting LF and onchocerciasis begins its first in human trial in Liverpool

Researchers receive NIH grants to develop new treatments for neglected tropical diseases

Researchers receive NIH grants to develop new treatments for neglected tropical diseases

WHO and Sanofi sign new agreement to sustain specific efforts to eliminate NTDs

WHO and Sanofi sign new agreement to sustain specific efforts to eliminate NTDs

Researchers examine whether community administration of ivermectin influences malaria transmission

Researchers examine whether community administration of ivermectin influences malaria transmission

New evidence supports ivermectin use in children weighing less than fifteen kilograms

New evidence supports ivermectin use in children weighing less than fifteen kilograms

Could Ivermectin be an effective antiviral against SARS-CoV-2?

Could Ivermectin be an effective antiviral against SARS-CoV-2?

Researchers receive $2.95 million grant to create improved diagnostics for worm infections

Researchers receive $2.95 million grant to create improved diagnostics for worm infections

Researchers identify traditional Ghanaian medicines to eradicate neglected tropical diseases

Researchers identify traditional Ghanaian medicines to eradicate neglected tropical diseases

World Health Organization, Sanofi sign new agreement to eliminate neglected tropical diseases

World Health Organization, Sanofi sign new agreement to eliminate neglected tropical diseases

Study reveals onchocerciasis can be eliminated by adapting new measures and tools

Study reveals onchocerciasis can be eliminated by adapting new measures and tools

Illustrations by Nigerian artist kickstart debate on neglected tropical disease

Illustrations by Nigerian artist kickstart debate on neglected tropical disease

Researchers receive $5 million to study two types of parasitic infection

Researchers receive $5 million to study two types of parasitic infection

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