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Disease-Fighting Charities Receive Record Gifts & Other NTD News

News roundup

This news roundup is a collection of headlines and other items on neglected tropical diseases, and does not reflect the work or the views of the Neglected Tropical Diseases Support Center.

Bosumbuka, Huffington Post

 Bosumbuka, who suffers from river blindness, walks around his village of Salambongo guided by his son who also shows symptoms of river blindness.


Lymphatic filariasis

Consultation to Accelerate Elimination of Brugia Malayi Transmission in Indonesia and Malaysia

The World Health Organization
In the consultation, potential causes of persistent transmission of Brugia malayi in Indonesia and Malaysia and results of the relevant studies to date was extensively discussed, including possible contribution of zoonotic transmission, the presence of a population sub-group with non-compliance to MDA, such as migrants and ethnic populations, lower efficacy of preventive medicines, quality of diagnostic tests and interpretation of results and possible drug resistance.

Polisye Kont Moustik: A Culturally Competent take to Larval Source Reduction in the Context of LF & Malaria Elimination in Haiti

Kevin Louis Bardosh et al.
Tropical Medicine and Infectious Disease
This paper has reflected, ethnographically, on the social relationships, negotiations, and maneuvering involved in designing and implementing a community-directed mosquito control pilot project in a small town in northern Haiti.

Improving the efficacy of a prophylactic vaccine formulation against lymphatic filariasis

Nikhil Chauhan et al.
Parasitology Research
Mass drug administration (MDA) is the current strategy for interrupting the transmission of lymphatic filariasis (LF) infection and control of the disease in endemic areas. However, subject non-compliance has resulted in the presence of several “transmission hotspots” in the endemic regions threatening the reemergence of LF.

Therapeutic trial of doxycyclin plus ivermectin for the treatment of Brugia malayi naturally infected cats

Ladawan Khowawisetsut et al.
Veterinary Parasitology
A total of 26 B. malayi-infected cats in the endemic areas were recruited and divided into 3 groups, receiving different treatment regimens; a single dose of ivermectin only (IVM), doxycycline only (DOXY) and a combination of ivermectin and doxycycline (DOXY-IVM)...Doxycycline showed to have both microfilaricidal and adulticidal effects on lymphatic filariae which maintained the long-term response to control of B. malayi infection in cats.

OPINION: India Is Set To Fail Its Target Of Eradicating Filariasis By 2020

Nibedita Rath and Sambit Dash
Huffington Post
India had set the ambitious target of eradicating filariasis by the year 2020, but in the current scenario it seems unlikely.

‘Skeeter Beaters: An Interview with Pat Lammie on Mosquitoes and Tropical Disease

MacKenzie Bates
Within COR-NTD, our approaches are rooted in programs within endemic countries. Several researchers are conducting what’s called molecular xenomonitoring. Our colleague, Steve Williams, at Smith College explained it best when he called mosquitoes “flying syringes.”...Our partners are also trying to figure out how vector control for other diseases is impacting levels of LF.


He Volunteered To Help Stop A Blinding Parasite. Then He Lost His Sight.

Hannah McNeish
Huffington Post
In certain areas of West Africa ― such as fertile river valleys ― river blindness used to be so rampant that up to 50 percent of the adult population was affected. The rate plummeted after decades of aerial spraying of some West African rivers with DDT to eliminate black flies and their larvae, but 99 percent of people infected with river blindness are still in Africa.

Sightsavers donates vehicles to MoHS in Sierra Leone

Ophaniel Gooding
Sightsavers had its bi-annual partners meeting at the Njala Venue at Aberdeen and donated two Land Cruiser vehicles, motorbikes and computers to the Ministry of Health to facilitate eye care and mass drug administration for onchocerciasis.

Validation of onchocerciasis biomarker N-acetyltyramine-O-glucuronide (NATOG)

Daniel Globisch et al.
Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry Letters
Our results measured by liquid chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry (LC-MS) reveal elevated NATOG values in mono- and co-infection samples only in the presence of the nematode Onchocerca volvulus...Based on these extended studies, we suggest NATOG as a biomarker for tracking active onchocerciasis infections and provide a threshold concentration value of NATOG for future diagnostic tool development.


A gene expression atlas of adult Schistosoma mansoni and their gonads

Zhigang Lu et al.
Scientific Data
Our data sets represent the first gonad-specific transcriptome profiles of a parasitic flatworm including genes regulated by pairing in ovaries and testes of S. mansoni, one of the three major species affecting humans

Soil-Transmitted Helminthiasis

Different but overlapping populations of Strongyloides stercoralis in dogs and humans—Dogs as a possible source...

Tegegn G. Jaleta et al.
PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases
Strongyloidiasis is a much-neglected soil born helminthiasis caused by the nematode Strongyloides stercoralis...Overall, our results show that dogs carry two populations, possibly different species of Strongyloides. One population appears to be dog specific but the other one is shared with humans. This argues for the strong potential of dogs as reservoirs for zoonotic transmission of S. stercoralis to humans and suggests that in order to reduce the exposure of humans to infective S. stercoralis larvae, dogs should be treated for the infection along with their owners.


Sightsavers' annual income rises 52 per cent to over £300m

David Ainsworth
Civil Society
The International Trachoma Initiative, set up by Pfizer, gave the charity Zithromax tablets worth £39m, used to treat trachoma in Sudan. This is the first time that tablets have appeared in Sightsavers’ accounts. The arrangement is a temporary one, and allows the tablets to be delivered despite US sanctions against Sudan.

Pfizer: U.S. pharmaceutical firms to extend investments in Egypt

Egypt Today
Pfizer has operated in Egypt since 1961 and has a factory in Almaza district in Cairo governorate, governmental relations director at Pfizer said, adding that the company has agreed on treating 1.7 million people in Egypt from trachoma disease at a total value of $50 million over three years until 2019.


Ethiopia's Countdown to 2020 in the Elimination of Neglected Tropical Diseases

The Ethiopian Medical Joiurnal
Ethiopia is one of the global success stories of public health, with the country having achieved most of the health Millennium Development Goals...The studies presented in this Special Issue provide details on the progress made and challenges encountered so far on the road to 2020 and provide perspectives on the way ahead.

The global burden of disease study 2013: What does it mean for the NTDs?

Jennifer R. Herricks et al.
PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases
The results presented here indicate that, despite significant gains, much work remains in the fight against NTDs. There are still approximately 2.3 billion cases of NTDs, which cause a substantial global disease burden.

Grant Opportunity: Control and Elimination Program for NTD Agency for International Development

Building on the successes that have been achieved through previous USAID investments to expand national, integrated NTD programs, [the Control and Elimination Program for Neglected Tropical Diseases, or] CEP-NTDs will continue to support countries in their advancement towards the attainment of global elimination goals, and to support them to effectively access and leverage the drug donations needed to control NTDs that cannot be eliminated with current strategies.

Gender differentials in readiness and use of mHealth services in a rural area of Bangladesh

Fatema Khatun et al.
BMC Health Services Research
Compared to men, women are less likely to own a mobile phone and less aware of available mHealth services, despite high intention to use mHealth among both genders. To optimise the use of mHealth services and to achieve equity of use, uptake strategies should target women, with a focus on the poorer and less educated groups.


PATH celebrates the extension of its digital health partnership with the Government of Tanzania

A catalytic $15 million investment from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will begin implementation of Tanzania’s Digital Health Investment Road Map. During the first phase of DUP, PATH worked with over 80 government and development partners to assess the country’s health information systems and support creation of a country-owned strategy to improve data and health sector performance. The Road Map outlines 17 priority investments, ranging from building capacity for using data to expanding digital platforms.

Gates Makes Largest Donation Since 2000 With $5 Billion Gift

Tom Metcalf
Bloomberg Pursuits
Bill Gates made his largest single gift since the turn of the century, giving away Microsoft Corp. shares that accounted for 5 percent of his fortune, the world’s biggest. The billionaire donated 64 million of the software maker’s shares to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation on June 6, according to Securities and Exchange Commission filings released Monday. The shares were valued at $4.6 billion at the time.

Stagnant water in Peshawar shops caused dengue outbreak: WHO report

Dunya News
A report compiled by a team of the World Health Organisation (WHO) has held shops of motorcycle mechanics and those related to wood work responsible for outbreak of dengue in Peshawar.

Early outbreak: Chikungunya up 100 times in Delhi, dengue cases at all time high

Anonna Dutt
Hindustan Times
Delhi reported 365 cases of dengue and 246 cases of chikungunya by August 5 this year. The figures for the same period in 2016 were 171 and 2, respectively. Delhi government says the rise in numbers is because of better surveillance.

Surveillance of Vector-Borne Infections (Chikungunya, Dengue, and Malaria) in Bo, Sierra Leone, 2012–2013

Donald F. Dariano III et al.
American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
In total, more than half (55%) of these [1,795] febrile individuals tested positive for at least one of the three VBIs, which highlights the very high burden of vector-borne diseases in this population.

Host immune responses to the itch mite, Sarcoptes scabiei, in humans

Sajad A. Bhat et al.
Parasites & Vectors
This review aims to provide a better understanding of human immune responses to S. scabiei in ordinary and crusted scabies phenotypes.

Upcoming Events

Neglected Diseases in South East Asia: Building Capacity in Epidemiological Modelling
August 28-September 1, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
University of Malaya
Southeast Asia countries face common threats from infections, including neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) and neglected zoonotic diseases (NZDs) that particularly affect marginalized communities―the most vulnerable to exposure and least able to seek treatment. Understanding the transmission and control of infectious diseases can be aided by mathematical modelling, helping to predict disease outbreaks, quantify intervention impact, estimate economic and health-care burdens, and inform cost-effective public health strategies. This workshop will introduce participants to topics from bacterial & viral to helminth NTDs and NZDs through series of lectures and practicals followed by group discussions and Q&A sessions, addressing: a) basic models for vector-borne diseases; b) infection intensity frameworks for helminth infections, and c) models for zoonotic infections.

Integrate Health: Examining how integration can help end maternal and child deaths
September 7, Washington, DC
RTI International
Please join us for a panel discussion on building effective integrated health systems to help end maternal and child deaths. Panelists will examine evidence surrounding the best approaches to integration. For those unable to attend in-person, the event will be livestreamed via webcast.

World Vaccine Congress India
September 19-20, Mumbai, India
Join us at the World Vaccine Congress India this September 19-20 in Mumbai, the latest addition to our global vaccines series, encompassing the World Vaccine Congress Washington and the World Vaccine Congress Europe. With an 18-year heritage, World Vaccine Congress events are annual gatherings of vaccine biopharma companies, from very senior executives to researchers, scientists and engineers, to discuss strategies to overcome vaccine development challenges. 

International Workshop on Disease Mapping in Low-resource Settings
September 14-15, Lancashire, England
Lancaster University
Hosted by Lancaster University on 14 - 15 September 2017, the multidisciplinary workshop will bring together international statistics and epidemiology experts to discuss the mapping of a wide range of diseases including neglected tropical diseases and malaria. 

The multidisciplinarity of parasitology: host-parasite evolution and control in an ever changing world
September 28, London, UK
British Society of Parasitology
The meeting’s aim will be to explore and broadly discuss recent progress towards understanding host-parasite relationships, with a particular emphasis on vectors and intermediate hosts of human diseases.  The meeting will also be a convenient opportunity to develop a festschrift in Parasitology in honour of Prof David Rollinson (a former President of the BSP), marking over forty years of parasitological research.

NNN Conference 2017
September 28-30, Dakar, Senegal
Neglected Tropical Disease NGO Network
NNN hosts its 2017 annual conference in Dakar, Senegal. More information to follow.

Women Leaders in Global Health
October 12, Stanford, CA
Women in Global Health
Women in Global Health is pleased to partner with Stanford University's Center for Innovation in Global Health to present the Women Leaders in Global Health Conference this October 12th, 2017. Registration is now open for this inaugural event. The conference builds on the global movement to press for gender equity in global health leadership by celebrating great works of emerging and established women in the field and cultivating the next generation of women leaders.

ASTMH 66th Annual Meeting
November 5-9, Baltimore, Maryland
American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
The ASTMH Annual Meeting draws tropical medicine and global health professionals representing academia, government, non-profits, philanthropy, NGOs, industry, military and private practice. The meeting is designed for researchers, professors, government and public health officials, military personnel, travel clinic physicians, practicing physicians in tropical medicine, students and all health care providers working in the fields of tropical medicine, hygiene and global health. 

Swedish-Ethiopian Course in Tropical Infections
November 13, 2017 - February 11, 2018, Stockholm, Sweden
Karolinska University Hospital
This is a course in clinical tropical medicine and HIV for clinicians. The overall aim is to provide general knowledge about infectious diseases which require or thrive in a warm climate and / or are important causes of morbidity and mortality in low-income countries. The focus is on diagnosis and treatment both in situations with scarce resources and in more affluent countries. The field visit to Ethiopia gives the participants a unique experience of the health system and infectious disease panorama in a developing country.

World Vaccine & Immunotherapy Congress West Coast
November 30 - December 1, San Diego, CA
Following on from the highly successful World Vaccine Congress series in Washington DC and Europe for the past 18 years, the San Diego event will offer learning and business development opportunities taking advantage of the rich biotech and funding environment that the west coast offers.

Eradicate Malaria World Congress 2018
February 18, 2018, Melbourne, Australia
The inaugural World Congress on Malaria - Eradicate Malaria 2018 - will bring together the broad global community including implementers, scientists, funders, governments, policy makers and those directly affected by the disease. The aim is to bring the broad spectrum of the malaria world together for the first time, to further galvanise the effort for the eradication of malaria.

World Vaccine Washington
April 3-5, 2018, Washington, DC
Make sure you are at the forefront of the vaccines industry. No matter where your interest lies, we have content, networking and potential partners for you. By bringing eight events together under one roof, you get to choose the sessions which are the most applicable to help your business plan for the future of vaccine research, development and manufacture.

Multilateral Initiative on Malaria 
April 15-18, 2018, Dakar, Senegal
The Multilateral Initiative on Malaria (MIM) was established in 1997 with a mission to strengthen and sustain through collaborative research and training, the capacity of malaria-endemic countries in Africa to carry out research that is required to develop and improve tools for malaria control and to strengthen the research-control interphase.