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World’s Largest Trachoma Surveys Reach 50th Country & 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. 


In the Kambia district in north-west Sierra Leone, trachoma grader Ibrahim Sellu checks Foday's eyes for signs of the disease.

Photo credit: Sightsavers.

Lymphatic filariasis

The impact of podoconiosis, lymphatic filariasis, and leprosy on disability and mental well-being: A systematic review

Oumer Ali et al.
PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases
The objective of this systematic review was to synthesize the existing evidence describing the disability, psychosocial, and mental health status of people affected by leprosy, podoconiosis, and LF prior to developing a holistic physical and psychosocial care package for these individuals. . . Following this review, we are working on the development of a holistic integrated care package for people affected by leprosy, podoconiosis, and LF in northwestern Ethiopia.

Comparison of Immunochromatographic Test (ICT) and Filariasis Test Strip (FTS) for Detecting Lymphatic Filariasis Antigen ...

Meru Sheel, Colleen L. Lau, Sarah Sheridan, Saipale Fuimaono and Patricia M. Graves
Tropical Medicine and Infectious Disease
In 2016,we conducted lymphatic filariasis surveys in American Samoa using FTS, which found higher Ag prevalence than previous surveys that used ICT. . . Based on these findings, if ICT had been used in the 2016 surveys, the results and interpretation would have been similar to those reported using FTS.


Population Pharmacokinetics of Praziquantel in Pregnant and Lactating Filipino Women Infected with Schistosoma japonicum

Amaya Bustinduy et al.
Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy
As part of a randomized controlled trial investigating the safety and efficacy of PZQ during human pregnancy, we examined the PK of this therapeutic drug among three distinct cohorts of women infected with S. japonicum in Leyte, Philippines.

Transposable Elements in the Genome of Human Parasite Schistosoma mansoni: A Review

Gisele Strieder Philippsen
Tropical Medicine and Infectious Disease
In this context, the literature concerning TEs [Transposable elements] description and TEs impact on the genomic architecture for S. mansoni was revisited, displaying evidence of TEs influence on schistosome speciation—mediated by bursts of transposition—and in gene-duplication events related to schistosome–host coevolution processes, as well several instances of TEs contribution into the coding sequences of genes. These findings indicate the relevant role of TEs in the evolution of the S. mansoni genome.

Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, and Universal Agree on Contract Manufacturing for new Pediatric Medication Against Schistosomias

Timo Breiner
Merck KGaA
Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, a leading science and technology company, has entered into a contract manufacturing agreement with Universal Corporation Ltd., Nairobi, Kenya, a subsidiary of Strides Pharma Science Limited, India, for the large-scale production of a new pediatric medication. Production will begin once the medication has been registered. The drug is needed to treat the neglected tropical disease (NTD) schistosomiasis in preschool-aged children younger than six and is currently in late-stage development.

Soil-Transmitted Helminthiasis

Evaluating Equity and Coverage in Mass Drug Administration for Soil-Transmitted Helminth Infections among School-Age Children ..

Asfaw MA, Hailu C and Beyene TJ
Pediatric Health, Medicine and Therapeutics
The very low (27.5%) and inequitable MDA coverage found in this study are associated with school nonenrollment, inaccessibility, and lack of information, awareness, and mobilization. Social mobilization should be scaled up to inform and create awareness in the community ahead of MDA.

The prevalence of tuberculosis, malaria and soil-transmitted helminth infection in minority indigenous people of Southeast Asia

Beth Gilmour, Kefyalew Addis Alene, Naomi E. Clarke and Archie C. A. Clements
Systematic Reviews
This systematic review aims to analyse the available data on the prevalence of TB, malaria and STH infections within minority indigenous populations of the SEAR and WPR.

Transmission of Soil Transmitted Helminthiasis in the Mifi Health District (West Region, Cameroon): Low Endemicity ...

Laurentine Sumo, Esther Nadine Otiobo Atibita, Eveline Mache, Tiburce Gangue and Hugues C. Nana-Djeunga
These results are supportive of the low endemicity level of STHs in the Mifi Health District, but environmental pollution by dissemination stages of the parasites outlines that the risk of transmission is still persistent. It therefore appears compulsory to account for the environment when considering policy/recommendations for transmission interruption and stopping MDA, as it is in the case with vector-borne diseases.


World’s Largest Trachoma Surveys Reach 50th Country

The world’s largest surveys into infectious disease have reached an important milestone, with Sierra Leone becoming the 50th country to be surveyed for trachoma as part of the initiative. The series of surveys began as the Global Trachoma Mapping Project, later becoming the Tropical Data collaboration. On average one person has been examined for trachoma every 26 seconds since the surveys began in 2012.

Empowering Maasai women behind the camera: Photovoice as a tool for trachoma control

Tara B. Mtuy, Jeremiah Mepukori, Joseph Lankoi and Shelley Lees
Research Involvement and Engagement
Photovoice should be considered for future interventions as a communication tool on health issues and to empower women to be ambassadors for health promotion.

How trachoma surgery has changed lives in Côte d’Ivoire

As Côte d’Ivoire completes its final operations as part of the Accelerate programme to fight trachoma, hear the stories of some of the people involved.

Stopping azithromycin mass drug administration for trachoma: A systematic review

Hamidah Mahmud et al.
PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases
Our systematic review finds that ocular chlamydia infection may return to communities faster than signs of active trachoma, which may help better understand the utility of different trachoma indicators for post-MDA surveillance.

Knowledge, Attitude, Practices and Associated Factors Towards Trachoma Among People Living in Arba Minch Zuria District ...

Chuchu Churko, Mekuria Asnakew Asfaw and Zerihun Zerdo
Clinical Ophthalmology
Considerable numbers of people have unfavorable attitude and inadequate knowledge about trachoma infection. Awareness creation through community mobilization and sensitization should be strengthened.

Towards an odour-baited trap to control Musca sorbens, the putative vector of trachoma

Ailie Robinson et al.
Scientific Reports
We tested commercially available and homemade trap types in a pilot (laboratory) study and three field studies. . . The Buzz lure is cheap and effective for 4 weeks, and trap components cheap and locally available. Further studies are needed to understand the impact of this trap on local fly populations and the local transmission of trachoma.


Noma and pian: The disease that disfigures a child’s face in 15 days

The Saxon (United Kingdom)
But the good news is that when they come and undergo the operation, they live in society again, ”explains Samuel Joseph, a nurse from Doctors Without Borders (MSF) who accompanies patients in their process from the moment they arrive at the center. sanitary until they leave it, already recovered. After the intervention, many of them can breathe well again, regain full mobility of the mouth and are no longer the target of everyone’s gaze for their disfigured face.

Call for Late-Breaker Abstracts

American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
Late-Breaker Abstract sessions are intended to communicate the latest events in tropical medicine and global health, such as recent results of clinical trials, new data on disease outbreaks, and reports of novel clinical cases or scientific findings. The scientific Program Committee will consider the timeliness of the data presented as a major factor in their evaluation. Submission Deadline: August 4, 2021

Burroughs Wellcome Fund/ASTMH Postdoctoral Fellowship in Tropical Infectious Diseases

American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
Call for applications: Open to individuals with an academic appointment of fellow at accredited schools of medicine in the U.S. and Canada who propose to perform research in tropical infectious diseases. Apply by August 4.


NTD programming in the COVID-19 era: How are we learning and adapting?

Molly Adams, Khalida Saalim, Meagan Meekins and Upendo Mwingira
USAID Learning Lab
4 Takeaways from Act | East’s CLA Approach to NTD Programming During COVID-19


NOTE - Events may be postponed or cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Please check with event organizers to confirm events. 


The Science and Practice of Compassionate Leadership Workshop
July 20, 2021
American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene

Ending the neglect to attain the sustainable development goals: a framework for monitoring and evaluating progress of the road map for neglected tropical diseases 2021−2030
July 21, 2021
World Health Organization

Training Programs in Epidemiology and Public Health Interventions Network
September 7, 2021
Training Programs in Epidemiology and Public Health Interventions Network

World Field Epidemiology Day 
September 7, 2021
Training Programs in Epidemiology and Public Health Interventions Network

NTD NGO Network Conference 2021
September 7-9, 2021
Neglected Tropical Disease NGO Network

COR-NTD 2021 Virtual Meeting
November 8-10, 2021
Coalition for Operational Research on Neglected Tropical Diseases

American Society for Tropical Medicine and Hygiene Annual Meeting
November 17-21, 2021
American Society for Tropical Medicine and Hygiene

International Conference on Emerging Infectious Diseases
March 6-9, 2022
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

FREE ONLINE COURSE: Eliminating Trachoma
London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine 

FREE ONLINE COURSE: Improving the Health of Women, Children and Adolescents: from Evidence to Action.
London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine 

FREE ONLINE COURSE: Neglected tropical diseases in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic: impact and guidance
World Health Organization