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)
A regional initiative launched in the 1990s to eliminate onchocerciasis (river blindness) in the Americas has substantially reduced the prevalence of the disease in recent years, as evidenced by a 31% decrease in the number of individuals requiring mass drug administration in six endemic countries. Results were reported today at the 58th annual meeting of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (ASTMH).
The scientific ability to quickly and accurately identify species through DNA "barcoding" is being embraced and applied by a growing legion of global authorities - from medical and agricultural researchers to police and customs authorities to palaeontologists and others.
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.
BDNews24.com reports on a new $13 million U.S.-government initiative aimed at "providing HIV-prevention services to two million at-risk people in Bangladesh including injecting drug users, male, female and transgender sex workers and their clients, and HIV-positive people through a network of 50 health centres." USAID will partner with Family Health International (FHI) to implement the program (9/17).
Rotary International recently started working with the Indian government to fight diarrhea, which can make polio immunizations ineffective, IANS/Thaindian News reports. Deepak Kapur, chairman of the India National PolioPlus Society of Rotary International, said the plan is to educate people about the use of use of zinc tablets and oral rehydration therapy to prevent diarrhea, which kills almost 500,000 children per year in the country (Khan, 9/16).
The first evidence that onchocerciasis elimination is feasible with ivermectin treatment was published in the open-access journal PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases. Onchocerciasis is also called river blindness because the blackfly which transmits the disease breeds in rivers; it often blinds people, as well as causing debilitating skin disease. Over 37 million people are infected, often living in poor, rural African communities.
A clinical trial is being launched in three African countries of a drug that could eliminate onchocerciasis, or river blindness, one of the leading infectious causes of blindness across Africa. The drug, moxidectin, is being investigated for its potential to kill or sterilize the adult worms of Onchocerca volvulus, which cause onchocerciasis.
BBC examines a campaign in sub-Saharan Africa that is helping to distribute drugs to prevent onchocerciasis, also known as river blindness - a disease "caused by a parasite that is spread from human to human by the black fly, which once flourished along river beds where there is fast-flowing water."
Jeffrey L. Sturchio, a longtime leader at Merck & Co. whose quiet diplomacy helped build programs treating more than 100,000 AIDS patients in Botswana as well as protecting millions of Africans from river blindness, has been named President and CEO of the Global Health Council, the Council's board of directors announced today.
An international team of researchers led by Rodrigo Gonzalez of the Universidad del Valle de Guatemala reports that the transmission of onchocerciasis or river blindness has been broken in Escuintla, Guatemala, one of the largest endemic areas in the Western Hemisphere to date to stop the transmission of the parasitic disease.
Most successful vaccines and drugs rely on protecting humans or animals by blocking certain bacteria from growing in their systems.
South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu on Tuesday at the World Health Assembly in Geneva called on governments to increase their efforts to fight diseases -- including HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria -- in Africa, the Associated Press reports.
PAHEF is pleased to join Harvard University's Ash Institute for Democratic Governance and Innovation as a partner in the bi-annual conference Frontiers of Innovation: 20 Years of Innovation in Government held in Cambridge March 31st through today.
An international team of tropical disease control experts has urged the global health and development community, and particularly the G8 leaders, to establish a new financing mechanism to combat the neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) of poverty.
Onchocerciasis is an infection caused by Onchocerca volvulus, a parasite nematode worm transmitted to humans by a species of black fly of the Simulium genus whose larvae develop in fast-flowing rivers.
Though little known to most Americans, lymphatic filariasis, trachoma, leishmaniasis, onchocerciasis, schistosomiasis and other so-called neglected tropical diseases are responsible for severe health burdens, especially among the world's poorest people.
More than 150 million people worldwide are infected with filarial parasites -- long, thread-like worms that can live for years inside the human body and cause severe, debilitating diseases such as elephantiasis.
Ivermectin, the standard drug for treating river blindness (onchocerciasis), is causing genetic changes in the parasite that causes the disease, according to a new study by Roger Prichard (McGill University, Canada) and colleagues, published on August 30, 2007 in the open-access journal PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases.
The World Health Organization (WHO) based Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases (TDR) has adopted a new strategy for strengthening and expanding research to prevent and control 'infectious diseases of poverty.'
Development of drug resistance in the parasite which causes river blindness could lead to breakouts of the disease in communities where it has been brought under control, conclude authors of an article in The Lancet.