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)
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.
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.
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.
"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.
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.
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.
The Guardian's "Global Development Professionals Network" blog "reports on the challenges of eliminating river blindness from Africa by 2025."
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.
"'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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
In this AlertNet opinion piece, Simon Bush, director of neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) at Sightsavers, an international NGO helping people with visual impairments in developing countries, examines efforts to rid Africa of onchocerciasis -- a blinding NTD.
In this video report, PBS NewsHour's "The Rundown" examines curable and preventable diseases such as measles and river blindness that countries are focusing more effort on fighting. Mark Eberhardt, a neglected tropical diseases expert at the CDC, and Stephen Cochi, a measles and polio expert from the CDC, "describe the diseases and why they still need attention."
Sanofi announced today that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Sklice® (ivermectin) lotion, 0.5% for the topical treatment of head lice, in patients 6 months of age and older. Effective and well-tolerated, Sklice Lotion treats lice in most patients with a single 10-minute application of the lotion, without nit combing.
This post in KPLU 88.5's "Humanosphere" blog examines how former President Jimmy Carter gave the fight against neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) "a good first shove nearly 30 years ago," writing, "Neglected diseases like river blindness, Guinea worm, parasitic (lymphatic) elephantiasis and schistosomiasis have been in Carter's cross hairs since the mid-1980s."
Thirteen drug companies, the governments of the United States, Britain and the United Arab Emirates, the World Bank, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Lions Club and other smaller charitable organizations on Monday announced a joint effort to tackle 10 neglected tropical diseases in a coordinated fashion.
The Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi) and Abbott have signed a four-year joint research and non-exclusive licensing agreement to undertake research on new treatments for several of the world's most neglected tropical diseases, including Chagas disease, helminth infections, leishmaniasis and sleeping sickness.
"The U.K. government has announced a fivefold increase in spending on combating neglected tropical diseases [NTDs] as part of an international effort to help rid the world of a group of infectious diseases that currently affect one billion people and kill more than half a million every year," BMJ reports.