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Two States in Nigeria Eliminate Lymphatic Filariasis as Public Health Problem, Trials begin for Leprosy vaccine & 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.

A portable scanning device produces a 3-D reconstruction of swollen legs (above) caused by lymphatic filariasis, a disease that infects millions globally. Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and colleagues in Sri Lanka will use the device to collect limb measurements for a clinical research trial examining whether the antibiotic doxycycline can reduce the severity of swelling.

MICHAEL J. WEILER/LYMPHATECH

Lymphatic filariasis

Two States in Nigeria Eliminate Disfiguring Parasitic Disease Lymphatic Filariasis as Public Health Problem

Emily Staub
The Carter Center
Millions of Nigerians no longer are at risk of a disfiguring tropical disease, thanks to a pioneering partnership between the Federal Ministry of Health and The Carter Center. The partners have eliminated lymphatic filariasis as a public health problem in two states in Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country and the seventh-largest in the world.

Victims Of This Disfiguring Disease ‘Feel So Much Pain And Shame’

Hannah McNeish
The Huffington Post
Over 1 billion people in 54 countries, especially in tropical regions, are at risk of elephantiasis. Approximately 120 million people were infected with the disease in 2000, according to the most recent data provided by the World Health Organization.

Kenya on verge of eradicating elephantiasis

The Global Times
"The goal is elimination of the disease by 2020 with the aim of first stopping the spread of the infection and to alleviate the suffering of the affected individuals," said [WHO Country Representative in Kenya Rudi] Eggers. "Fortunately, the disease can be eliminated by stopping the spread of infection through preventive treatment of all people living in endemic areas using safe medicine combinations, repeated annually for 4 to 6 years. Consequently, the disease is targeted for elimination as a public health problem by the year 2020," he said.

Portable 3-D scanner assesses patients with elephantiasis

Kristina Sauerwein
Washington University School of Medicine
Scientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, working with collaborators in Sri Lanka, have shown that a portable scanning device can measure limb enlargement and disfigurement faster and more easily in patients with elephantiasis.

Onchocerciasis

Ministry eyes at strengthening Onchocerciasis elimination efforts

Mengisetab Teshome
The Ethiopian Herald
Ministry of Health and development partners disclosed that the program to eliminate Onchocerciasis—disease caused by parasitic worm— is progressing in most affected areas of the country. Neglected Tropical Disease Program Coordinator at the Ministry Nebiyu Negussu told The Ethiopian Herald that the Ministry is working aggressively to eliminate Onchocerciasis through consorted efforts.

Schistosomiasis

Molluscicidal effect of Achyranthes aspera L. (Amaranthaceae) aqueous extract on adult snails...

Belayhun Mandefro et al.
Infectious Diseases of Poverty
Intestinal schistosomiasis caused by Schistosoma mansoni is a wide spread disease in most parts of Ethiopian highlands. Snail control is one major strategy in schistosomiasis control. The use of molluscicidal plant products is becoming interesting due to their environmental friendliness, accessibility and easy application. This research is aimed to evaluate the molluscicidal effect of Achyranthes aspera on Biomphalaria pfeifferi and Lymnaea natalensis snails, which are of great medical and veterinary importance in Ethiopia

Mapping freshwater snails in north-western Angola: distribution, identity and molecular diversity of medically important taxa

Fiona Allan et al.
Parasites and Vectors
This study was designed to determine the distribution and identity of potential intermediate snail hosts of Schistosoma spp. in Bengo, Luanda, Kwanza Norte and Malanje Provinces in north-western Angola. This is an area where infection with Schistosoma haematobium, causing urogenital schistosomiasis, is common but little is yet known about transmission of the disease.

VIDEO: Dr. Fiona Allen (NHM) Monitoring Schistosomiasis transmission using snail intermediate hosts

The International Society for Neglected Tropical Diseases
"As we're moving from morbidity control to elimination with the (London) Declaration deadlines of 2025 in place, we really need...tools and diagnostics to help move into that new setting."

Strong associations between chromosomal aberrations in blood lymphocytes and the risk of urothelial and squamous cell carcinoma

Hongkun Wang et al.
Scientific Reports
When the study subjects were stratified by age, gender, cigarette smoking status and Schistosoma infection, we observed similar significant patterns of higher frequency of blood lymphocytes with [chromosomal aberrations, or] CAs in higher percentage of cases than controls in each sub-category of the study population.

Small Grants, Big Impact: Dr. Humphrey Mazigo, Mwanza, Tanzania

MacKenzie Bates
Neglected Tropical Diseases Support Center
In May 2017, the African Research Network for Neglected Tropical Diseases (ARNTD), the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), and the Coalition for Operational Research on Neglected Tropical Diseases (COR-NTD) announced the first-ever grantees of the African Researchers' Small Grants program.

Soil-Transmitted Helminthiasis

Geophagy as risk behaviour for gastrointestinal nematode infections among pregnant women attending antenatal clinics

Njoku Ivoke et al.
African Health Sciences
Geophagy is a risk behaviour directly associated with A. lumbricoides, hookworm, T. trichiura, and to a lesser extent S. stercoralis infection among pregnant women. Sensitization and mass education of pregnant women on the dangers of geophagy is needed. Furthermore, deworming of pregnant women should be integrated into the healthcare delivery system of the State.

High prevalence of soil-transmitted helminth infections among primary school children, Uttar Pradesh, India, 2015

Sandipan Ganguly et al.
Infectious Diseases of Poverty
STH prevalence among primary school children in Uttar Pradesh was high. Given the WHO guidelines on deworming frequency according to STH prevalence, Govt of Uttar Pradesh needs to implement a school-based deworming program with bi-annual frequency. The findings of our survey would also help monitor the performance of school based deworming programme.

Trachoma

More than a million people examined for trachoma

SightSavers
The latest Tropical Data milestone was achieved in the Chienge district of Zambia, where the one millionth person was recently examined for signs of trachoma. As well as working alongside ministries of health in 21 African nations, the service has also worked with countries in South America, Asia and Oceania.

Women in developing nations often get less eye care than men

Marlene Cimons
The Washington Post
Women in developing nations suffer from eye disease, but often for different reasons than those in the developed world. Paul Courtright, one of the authors of a 2001 study that estimated the prevalence of blindness and vision impairment among women worldwide, attributes this in large part to gender equity issues and a lack of access to eye-care services.

Ophthalmic nurse with a passion for fighting blindness in Kajiado County

Rop Janet and Albert Lemomo
Kenya News Agency
An ophthalmic nurse at the Kajiado County Referral Hospital, Francis Wambua has become a household name in the remote areas of Kajiado. He is popularly identified as “daktari wetu” by locals whom he has spent years with, in his fight against the troubling trachoma trichiasis infection.

World Sight Day march takes place in Jimma

Haftu Gebrezgabiher
The Ethiopian Herald
The day was observed for the 12th round in Ethiopia and 13th in the World with the theme; ‘Make Vision Count’. Advisor to the State Minister of Health Girma Ashenafi noted on the occasion that the government is working to achieve World Health Organization (WHO’s) global initiative vision 2020 to prevent 80 percent of the causes of blindness such as cataract, trachoma, refractive error and cure 20 percent of the victims.

Local university students awarded for heroic acts

Hilary Kimuyu
Nairobi News
The heroes taught school children and their parents the importance of hand and face washing with soap to prevent trachoma and diarrhoeal disease, seeking maternal and new-born healthcare during pregnancy, brushing of teeth in the morning and at night to improve oral health and eating a nutritious breakfast to start the day.

Cross-cutting

JCU to fight disabling tropical diseases with WHO

Peter Leggat and Maxine Whittaker
James Cook University
For the past 20 years JCU has been a WHO Collaborating Centre (WHOCC) for the Control of Lymphatic Filariasis, Soil-Transmitted Helminths and other Neglected Tropical Diseases.

Lions Club Launches Project to Eliminate Blindness in Acholi Sub Region

The Kampala Post
Lions Club International in collaboration with the Ministry of Health has launched a 3 year project dubbed Comprehensive Eye Care to be implemented in four districts of Acholi Sub Region to provide quality eye care services and strengthen the existing for eye health in the region.

Make vision count: A call for a sight

The Ethiopian Herald
An Advisor to the State Minister with the Ministry of Health Girma Ashenafi also said that the government is aggressively working to achieve the Vision 2020, a global initiative vision known with the theme; ‘The Right to Sight’ and launched by the World Health Organization (WHO) member countries.

Former President Jimmy Carter Chosen as 2017 Prix Galien Pro Bono Humanum Honoree

Prix Galien Greece
The Carter Center lauded for leading the battle against six common, preventable diseases in resource-limited countries.

Other

Leprosy Vaccine Moves Into Human Trials

Don Ward
Precision Vaccinations
The first leprosy vaccine candidate, developed specifically for prevention, is beginning a Phase 1 clinical trial. This vaccine candidate, called LepVax, was developed through screening and identifying Mycobacterium leprae proteins that trigger an effective immune response.

The final steps in leprosy eradication in Myanmar?

The Global Atlas of Helminth Infections
The control of leprosy is hampered by the existence of hot-spots where disease rates remain high. To achieve the eventual eradication of the disease it is necessary to identify where these hot spots are, why they occur and what can be done to control transmission within them.

Human cellular and humoral immune responses to Phlebotomus papatasi salivary gland antigens in endemic areas differing...

Wafa Kammoun-Rebai et al.
PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases
Sand fly saliva compounds are able to elicit specific immune responses that have a significant role in Leishmania parasite establishment and disease outcome. Characterizing anti-saliva immune responses in individuals living in well defined leishmaniasis endemic areas would provide valuable insights regarding their effect on parasite transmission and establishment in humans.

Co-Diagnostics, Inc. to Present Zika Tests to Dominican Republic Ministry of Health

Seth Egan
Business Wire
Co-Diagnostics representatives will present the both the Company’s Zika virus and tuberculosis qPCR tests as diagnostic solutions to those diseases in the region, and will demonstrate diagnostic equipment for which the Company is an authorized reseller. The equipment and tests are optimized to work together to provide complete diagnostics systems to laboratories worldwide that are in need of upgraded facilities, and highly accurate molecular tests and analysis at competitive prices.

Resource Use and Costs of Dengue: Analysis of Data from Phase III Efficacy Studies of a Tetravalent Dengue Vaccine

Hanna El Fezzazi et al.
The American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
This is the first study providing information on dengue costs among vaccinated individuals and direct confirmation that vaccination has the potential to reduce dengue illness costs.

Exhibition aims to champion disease eradication as it happens

Elizabeth Dickinson
Devex
The world is again on the cusp of eradicating disease: guinea worm and polio. This time, the American Museum of Natural History and the Carter Center partnered to prepare the public in advance. “We thought rather than wait for guinea worm to be fully eradicated, or polio, both of which are very close, to build an exhibition that drives public awareness so that people see the successes as it happens,” Mark Siddall, a curator at the American Museum of Natural History, told Devex.

VIDEO: Dr William de Glanville ( Uni of Liverpool) Diagnostics challenges for the NZD's

The International Society for Neglected Tropical Diseases
YouTube
"An important point to note is that, while zoonoses are diseases that are caused by pathogens acquired from animals - they don't only affect livestock keepers. Anyone living in a community in which zoonoses are endemic is plenty at risk of infection."

Upcoming Events 

Project Zero
October 24, Webcast
The Carter Center
Experience two new, 360° virtual-reality videos from HuffPost’s “Project Zero,” which documents neglected tropical diseases, including the Carter Center’s work on river blindness and lymphatic filariasis in Nigeria. A panel will discuss the challenges of eliminating the diseases worldwide and their experiences creating stories with this cutting-edge technology. 

COR-NTD Meeting 2017
November 3-4, Baltimore, MD
Coalition for Operational Research on Neglected Tropical Diseases
The goal of the COR-NTD meeting is to strengthen the community of researchers, program implementers and their supporters to address knowledge gaps in a coordinated way, thus informing the agenda of future research and facilitating the global efforts of the World Health Organization and endemic countries to overcome NTDs. [This event is closed.]

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.

Reaching The Last Mile
November 15, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Reaching The Last Mile is a milestone convening of global health leaders focused on accelerating the elimination of deadly infectious diseases, such as polio and malaria, and preventable NTDs, such as Guinea-worm disease and River Blindness.The Forum will be held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, and is driven from His Highness’ conviction that no human should die from a preventable disease, and that investment in health is crucial to global development.

ISNTD Water 2017
November 23, London, UK 
Natural History Museum
ISNTD Water provides the multidisciplinary platform and network for the research, charity and business sectors to partner and collaborate to address diseases and conditions of poverty worldwide.

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.