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    1 OF 93

    Refocusing vector assessment towards the elimination of onchocerciasis from Africa: a review of the current status in selected countries.
    Int Health 2018 Mar;10(suppl_1):i27-i32
    The Taskforce for Global Health, Atlanta, GA, USA.
    Measures to control onchocerciasis have been in place for well over 30 years. Recently, programs have turned from disease control towards transmission elimination. The absence of infective larvae in the black fly Simulium sp. Read More

    Establishing quality assured (QA) laboratory support for onchocerciasis elimination in Africa.
    Int Health 2018 Mar;10(suppl_1):i33-i39
    Task Force for Global Health, Atlanta, GA, USA.
    An essential component in achieving accepted successful elimination of a disease or a pathogen involves the acquisition of quality-assured (QA) data that ultimately define the absence of infection or transmission in previously endemic areas. The acquisition of these essential data, in the case of onchocerciasis elimination, requires strong laboratory support for both testing and continuing evaluation/validation of the tools used for the required diagnostic and epidemiology procedures. There is also a need for standardization of the laboratory-based and field-based assays used across the onchocerciasis-endemic countries as well as continuing technical, fiscal and logistical support for laboratory activities. Read More

    Cross-border issues: an important component of onchocerciasis elimination programmes.
    Int Health 2018 Mar;10(suppl_1):i54-i59
    Mectizan Donation Programme, 325 Swanton Way, Decatur, GA 30030, USA.
    Endemic areas that involve national or local borders present an important challenge to the success of elimination of onchocerciasis; such cross-border endemic foci require special attention to ensure that programme activities are unified. It is vital that national programmes and the committees responsible for the oversight of progress towards elimination are aware and address such issues in their current planning and programmatic activities. Although international borders that intersect endemic zones present the biggest challenge, intracountry borders (such as between administrative districts or loiasis endemic and non-loiasis areas) can also pose problems. Read More

    Onchocerciasis in Yemen: moving forward towards an elimination program.
    Int Health 2018 Mar;10(suppl_1):i89-i96
    Mectizan Donation Program, Task Force for Global Health, Atlanta, GA, USA.
    The onchocerciasis focus in Yemen has been known for many years as an endemic area with unique characteristics, notably the atypical and most severe form of onchodermatitis, known as sowda or reactive onchodermatitis (ROD). The national effort to control the disease began in 1992 as an individual case treatment program by administering ivermectin to those presenting with ROD. The challenging geography of the endemic area and the current political and military unrest both underscore a need for special approaches when attempting to eliminate onchocerciasis from this country. Read More

    Alternative treatment strategies to accelerate the elimination of onchocerciasis.
    Int Health 2018 Mar;10(suppl_1):i40-i48
    UNICEF/UNDP/World Bank/WHO Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases, Geneva, Switzerland.
    The use of alternative (or complementary) treatment strategies (ATSs) i.e. differing from annual community-directed treatment with ivermectin (CDTI) is required in some African foci to eliminate onchocerciasis by 2025. Read More

    Onchocerciasis: shifting the target from control to elimination requires a new first-step-elimination mapping.
    Int Health 2018 Mar;10(suppl_1):i14-i19
    World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland.
    The meaning of 'mapping' in relation to onchocerciasis has changed at least three times over the past 50 years as the programmatic goals and the assessment tools have changed. With the current goal being global elimination of Onchocerca volvulus (OV), all areas where OV might currently be transmitted and where mass drug administration (MDA) with ivermectin treatment has not been delivered previously must now be identified by careful, detailed 'elimination mapping' as either OV endemic or not, so that appropriate programmatic targets can be established. New tools and strategies for such elimination mapping have become available, though ongoing studies must still be completed to define agreed upon optimal diagnostic evaluation units, sampling strategies and serologic tools. Read More

    Operationalization of the test and not treat strategy to accelerate the elimination of onchocerciasis and lymphatic filariasis in Central Africa.
    Int Health 2018 Mar;10(suppl_1):i49-i53
    IRD UMI 233-INSERM U1175-Montpellier University, Montpellier, France.
    After 30 years of treatment with Mectizan (ivermectin), cutaneous and ocular complications of Onchocerca volvulus infection are now scarce in endemic communities. Indeed, transmission has been interrupted and the O. volvulus- associated disease has disappeared in some African foci. Read More

    The role of the NGDO Coordination Group for the Elimination of Onchocerciasis.
    Int Health 2018 Mar;10(suppl_1):i97-i101
    The Carter Center, Atlanta, GA, USA.
    The NGDO Coordination Group for the Control of Onchocerciasis was launched in 1992, and with the paradigm shift from control of disease to elimination of onchocerciasis transmission, the Group shifted its orientation to that new paradigm in 2013. It also changed its name, replacing 'control' with 'elimination.' In doing so, the Group has repositioned itself to build on the successes of the past to finish the job it began over 25 years ago. Read More

    Transitioning from river blindness control to elimination: steps toward stopping treatment.
    Int Health 2018 Mar;10(suppl_1):i7-i13
    Mectizan Donation Program, Atlanta, GA 30030, USA.
    The transition from onchocerciasis control to elimination requires country programmes to rethink their approach to a variety of activities as they move from addressing morbidity to addressing transmission of the parasite. Although the 2016 WHO guidelines provide extensive recommendations, it was beyond the scope of the document to provide guidance on all aspects of the transition. This paper will discuss some of the important issues that programmes are grappling with as they transition to elimination and provide some potential approaches that programmes can use to address them. Read More

    The role of national committees in eliminating onchocerciasis.
    Int Health 2018 Mar;10(suppl_1):i60-i70
    The Carter Center, One Copenhill, 453 Freedom Parkway, Atlanta, GA30307.
    National onchocerciasis elimination committees (NOECs) serve to help ministries of health complete the pathway to successful verification of elimination of onchocerciasis (river blindness), as outlined in the 2016 World Health Organization guidelines. These guidelines, however, only take effect when the country believes it has reached a point that elimination can be demonstrated, and do not address the preceding milestones. Therefore, NOECs can be of great help with guiding and tailoring earlier planning, programming and assessments to empower national programs to aggressively move toward their countries' elimination goals. Read More

    Diagnostics for onchocerciasis in the era of elimination.
    Int Health 2018 Mar;10(suppl_1):i20-i26
    Department of Control of Neglected Tropical Diseases, World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland.
    In the past few years, efforts to eliminate onchocerciasis from Africa have intensified. These efforts are primarily based on the mass distribution of the anti-helminthic drug Mectizan™ (ivermectin). This program has led to the development of new guidelines by the World Health Organization for the verification that transmission has been suppressed and eventually eliminated. Read More

    After 70 years of fighting an age-old scourge, onchocerciasis in Uganda, the end is in sight.
    Int Health 2018 Mar;10(suppl_1):i79-i88
    Carter Center, One Copenhill Avenue, 453 Freedom Parkway, Atlanta, GA 30307, USA.
    Onchocerciasis causes severe itching, serious skin disease and ocular damage leading to visual impairment or permanent blindness. It is associated with hanging groin, epilepsy, Nakalanga dwarfism and, most recently, nodding disease. This disease affected communities in 17 transmission foci in 37 districts of Uganda, where about 6. Read More

    Progress toward elimination of onchocerciasis in the Americas.
    Int Health 2018 Mar;10(suppl_1):i71-i78
    Carter Center, One Copenhill, 453 Freedom Parkway, Atlanta, GA 30307, USA.
    The Onchocerciasis Elimination Program for the Americas (OEPA) is a regional initiative and international partnership that has made considerable progress toward its goal since it was launched in 1993. Its strategy is based on mass drug administration of ivermectin (Mectizan, donated by MSD, also known as Merck & Co., Inc. Read More

    The blackfly vectors and transmission of Onchocerca volvulus in Mahenge, south eastern Tanzania.
    Acta Trop 2018 Feb 2;181:50-59. Epub 2018 Feb 2.
    National Institute for Medical Research, Tukuyu Research Centre, Tukuyu, Tanzania.
    The Mahenge Mountains onchocerciasis focus in south eastern Tanzania was historically one of the most heavily infected areas in the country. The vectors of Onchocerca volvulus are mainly Simulium damnosum complex blackflies, but a species of the Simulium neavei group may also contribute to transmission in some areas. The only detailed studies of parasite transmission in Mahenge were conducted in the late 1960s. Read More

    "Cross-border collaboration in onchocerciasis elimination in Uganda: progress, challenges and opportunities from 2008 to 2013".
    Global Health 2018 Feb 6;14(1):16. Epub 2018 Feb 6.
    Pan-African Community Initiative on Education and Health (PACIEH) and University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Enugu, Nigeria.
    Background: Until recently onchocerciasis was prevalent in 37 out of 112 districts of Uganda with at least 3.8 million people at risk of contracting the disease, but following the launching of community-directed treatment with ivermectin (CDTI) in 1996 and the adoption of an onchocerciasis elimination policy in 2007, the country has made significant progress in combating the disease. By 2015, interruption of transmission had been achieved in ten of the 17 onchocerciasis foci, but cross-border foci remained particularly problematic, and therefore within the onchocerciasis elimination framework, Uganda embarked upon addressing these issues with its neighbouring countries, namely the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and South Sudan. Read More

    Full mitochondrial and nuclear genome comparison confirms that Onchocerca sp. "Siisa" is Onchocerca ochengi.
    Parasitol Res 2018 Feb 5. Epub 2018 Feb 5.
    Department for Evolutionary Biology, Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology, Max-Planck-Ring 9, 72076, Tübingen, Germany.
    Onchocerca ochengi is a nodule-forming filarial nematode parasite of cattle. It is the closest known relative of the human parasite Onchocerca volvulus, with which it shares the black fly vector Simulium damnosum. Onchocerca sp. Read More

    Elimination of lymphatic filariasis in west African urban areas: is implementation of mass drug administration necessary?
    Lancet Infect Dis 2018 Feb 2. Epub 2018 Feb 2.
    Department of Parasitology, Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, Liverpool, UK.
    Lymphatic filariasis in Africa is caused by the parasite Wuchereria bancrofti and remains a major cause of morbidity and disability in 74 countries globally. A key strategy of the Global Programme for the Elimination of Lymphatic Filariasis, which has a target elimination date of 2020, is the treatment of entire endemic communities through mass drug administration of albendazole in combination with either ivermectin or diethylcarbamazine. Although the strategy of mass drug administration in combination with other interventions, such as vector control, has led to elimination of the infection and its transmission in many rural communities, urban areas in west Africa present specific challenges to achieving the 2020 targets. Read More

    Economic evaluations of lymphatic filariasis interventions: a systematic review and research needs.
    Parasit Vectors 2018 Feb 1;11(1):75. Epub 2018 Feb 1.
    Oxford University Clinical Research Unit, Wellcome Trust Major Overseas Programme, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.
    In 2000, the World Health Organization established the Global Programme to Eliminate Lymphatic Filariasis (GPELF), with the goal of eliminating the disease as a public health problem by 2020. Since the start of the programme, a cumulative total of 6.2 billion treatments have been delivered to affected populations - with more than 556 million people treated in 2015 alone. Read More

    Identifying co-endemic areas for major filarial infections in sub-Saharan Africa: seeking synergies and preventing severe adverse events during mass drug administration campaigns.
    Parasit Vectors 2018 Jan 31;11(1):70. Epub 2018 Jan 31.
    Department of Disease Control, Faculty of Infectious & Tropical Diseases, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, London, UK.
    Background: Onchocerciasis and lymphatic filariasis (LF) are major filarial infections targeted for elimination in most endemic sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) countries by 2020/2025. The current control strategies are built upon community-directed mass administration of ivermectin (CDTI) for onchocerciasis, and ivermectin plus albendazole for LF, with evidence pointing towards the potential for novel drug regimens. When distributing microfilaricides however, considerable care is needed to minimise the risk of severe adverse events (SAEs) in areas that are co-endemic for onchocerciasis or LF and loiasis. Read More

    Current epidemiological evidence for predisposition to high or low intensity human helminth infection: a systematic review.
    Parasit Vectors 2018 Jan 31;11(1):65. Epub 2018 Jan 31.
    Department of Infectious Disease Epidemiology, Imperial College London, St. Mary's Campus, London, W2 1PG, UK.
    Background: The human helminth infections include ascariasis, trichuriasis, hookworm infections, schistosomiasis, lymphatic filariasis (LF) and onchocerciasis. It is estimated that almost 2 billion people worldwide are infected with helminths. Whilst the WHO treatment guidelines for helminth infections are mostly aimed at controlling morbidity, there has been a recent shift with some countries moving towards goals of disease elimination through mass drug administration, especially for LF and onchocerciasis. Read More

    Single dose moxidectin versus ivermectin for Onchocerca volvulus infection in Ghana, Liberia, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo: a randomised, controlled, double-blind phase 3 trial.
    Lancet 2018 Jan 17. Epub 2018 Jan 17.
    UNICEF/UNDP/World Bank/WHO Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases (TDR), WHO, Geneva, Switzerland. Electronic address:
    Background: The morbidity and socioeconomic effects of onchocerciasis, a parasitic disease that is primarily endemic in sub-Saharan Africa, have motivated large morbidity and transmission control programmes. Annual community-directed ivermectin treatment has substantially reduced prevalence. Elimination requires intensified efforts, including more efficacious treatments. Read More


    Safety and pharmacokinetic profile of fixed-dose ivermectin with an innovative 18mg tablet in healthy adult volunteers.
    PLoS Negl Trop Dis 2018 01 18;12(1):e0006020. Epub 2018 Jan 18.
    Instituto de Investigaciones en Enfermedades Tropicales, Universidad Nacional de Salta/CONICET, Oran, Argentina.
    Ivermectin is a pivotal drug for the control of onchocerciasis and lymphatic filariasis, which is increasingly identified as a useful drug for the control of other Neglected Tropical Diseases. Its role in the treatment of soil transmitted helminthiasis through improved efficacy against Trichuris trichiura in combination with other anthelmintics might accelerate the progress towards breaking transmission. Ivermectin is a derivative of Avermectin B1, and consists of an 80:20 mixture of the equipotent homologous 22,23 dehydro B1a and B1b. Read More

    The Population Biology and Transmission Dynamics of Loa loa.
    Trends Parasitol 2018 Jan 10. Epub 2018 Jan 10.
    Department of Infectious Disease Epidemiology, London Centre for Neglected Tropical Disease Research and MRC Centre for Outbreak Analysis and Modelling, Faculty of Medicine (St Mary's Campus), Imperial College London, London W2 1PG, UK; Joint last authors. Electronic address:
    Endemic to Central Africa, loiasis - or African eye worm (caused by the filarial nematode Loa loa) - affects more than 10 million people. Despite causing ocular and systemic symptoms, it has typically been considered a benign condition, only of public health relevance because it impedes mass drug administration-based interventions against onchocerciasis and lymphatic filariasis in co-endemic areas. Recent research has challenged this conception, demonstrating excess mortality associated with high levels of infection, implying that loiasis warrants attention as an intrinsic public health problem. Read More

    Retinoid Expression in Onchocercal Skin Disease: Pilot Study.
    Infect Dis (Auckl) 2017 20;10:1178633617731741. Epub 2017 Sep 20.
    Tukuyu Research Centre, National Institute for Medical Research, Tanzania, Tukuyu, Tanzania.
    Based on the observation that the parasiteselectively absorbs vitamin A from the host, and the known toxicity of vitamin A in higher concentration, it was hypothesized that dying microfilariae (mf) release their stores of vitamin A (retinoids) into the host circulation in toxic concentrations, inducing the signs and symptoms of onchocerciasis. We conducted a pilot study to test the hypothesis in Songea communities in Southern Tanzania, where mass drug administration with ivermectin had not been implemented by the time of the survey. The specific aim was to evaluate the correlation between the diagnosis of onchocerciasis and increased levels of retinoic acid at infection sites. Read More

    Pharmacodynamics of Flubendazole for Cryptococcal Meningoencephalitis: Repurposing and Reformulation of an Anti-Parasitic Agent for a Neglected Fungal Disease.
    Antimicrob Agents Chemother 2018 Jan 8. Epub 2018 Jan 8.
    Antimicrobial Pharmacodynamics and Therapeutics, Department of Molecular and Clinical Pharmacology, Institute of Translational Medicine, Liverpool, UK
    Current therapeutic options for cryptococcal meningitis are limited by toxicity, global supply and emergence of resistance. There is an urgent need to develop additional antifungal agents that are fungicidal within the central nervous system and preferably orally bioavailable. The benzimidazoles have broad-spectrum anti-parasitic activity, but also haveantifungal activity that includesFlubendazole (a benzimidazole) has been reformulated by Janssen Pharmaceutica as an amorphous solid drug nanodispersion to develop an orally bioavailable medicine for the treatment of neglected tropical diseases such as onchocerciasis. Read More

    Combinations of registered drugs reduce treatment times required to deplete Wolbachia in the Litomosoides sigmodontis mouse model.
    PLoS Negl Trop Dis 2018 Jan 4;12(1):e0006116. Epub 2018 Jan 4.
    Institute for Medical Microbiology, Immunology and Parasitology, University Hospital Bonn, Bonn, Germany.
    Filarial parasites can be targeted by antibiotic treatment due to their unique endosymbiotic relationship with Wolbachia bacteria. This finding has led to successful treatment strategies in both, human onchocerciasis and lymphatic filariasis. A 4-6 week treatment course using doxycycline results in long-term sterility and safe macrofilaricidal activity in humans. Read More

    Geographical distribution and species identification of human filariasis and onchocerciasis in Bioko Island, Equatorial Guinea.
    Acta Trop 2018 Apr 28;180:12-17. Epub 2017 Dec 28.
    Malaria & Emerging Parasitic Diseases Laboratory, National Microbiology Center, Instituto de Salud Carlos III, Majadahonda, Madrid, Spain. Electronic address:
    Human filariae are vector-borne parasites and the causative agents of various diseases, including human onchocerciasis and lymphatic filariasis. Onchocerciasis causes a spectrum of cutaneous and ophthalmologic manifestations (including blindness) and has long been a major public health problem in Bioko Island (Equatorial Guinea). Bioko Island has been included in the WHO's Onchocerciasis Control Program since 1987. Read More

    Onchocerciasis-Associated Epilepsy, an Additional Reason for Strengthening Onchocerciasis Elimination Programs.
    Trends Parasitol 2018 Mar 26;34(3):208-216. Epub 2017 Dec 26.
    Global Health Institute, University of Antwerp, Antwerp, Belgium.
    A high prevalence of epilepsy has been observed in onchocerciasis-endemic regions with high onchocerciasis transmission. Recent epidemiological studies suggest that Onchocerca volvulus infection is the trigger causing the seizures, which appear in previously healthy children between the ages of 3 and 18 years. Persons with onchocerciasis-associated epilepsy present with a wide spectrum of seizures, including atonic and myoclonic neck seizures; but also absences and most frequently generalized tonic-clonic seizures. Read More

    In vivo confocal microscopy for detection of subconjunctival Onchocerca lupi infection in a dog.
    Vet Ophthalmol 2017 Dec 25. Epub 2017 Dec 25.
    Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, USA.
    A seven-year-old male castrated mixed-breed dog was diagnosed with bilateral subconjunctival masses. In vivo confocal microscopy facilitated visualization of Onchocerca lupi adult nematodes and their characteristic cuticular morphology. Long, thin, white nematodes were extracted during excisional biopsy. Read More

    Dermatological manifestations in onchocerciasis: A retrospective study of 400 imported cases.
    Enferm Infecc Microbiol Clin 2017 Dec 20. Epub 2017 Dec 20.
    Laboratorio de Inmunología Parasitaria y Molecular, CIETUS, IBSAL, Facultad de Farmacia, Universidad de Salamanca, Salamanca, Spain. Electronic address:
    Introduction: Onchocerciasis is caused by Onchocerca volvulus and mainly leads to pruritus and skin and visual disorders, including blindness. Seventeen million people are infected in 38 countries; 31 of these are in sub-Saharan Africa, six in Latin America and one on the Arabian Peninsula. More than 99% of cases occur in sub-Saharan Africa where 120 million people are at risk of infection. Read More

    The interruption of Onchocerca volvulus and Wuchereria bancrofti transmission by integrated chemotherapy in the Obongi focus, North Western Uganda.
    PLoS One 2017 18;12(12):e0189306. Epub 2017 Dec 18.
    University of South Florida, Global Health Infectious Disease Research, College of Public Health, Tampa, FL, United States of America.
    Intervention: Few studies have documented the interruption of onchocerciasis and Lymphatic Filariasis (LF) by integrated chemotherapy in Uganda. The study describes the interruption of transmission of the two diseases co-endemic in Obongi focus, north western Uganda. Base line data for Onchocerciasis and LF were collected in 1994 and 2006, respectively. Read More

    Assessment of the performance of community-directed treatment with ivermectin strategy for the control and elimination of onchocerciasis in Edo State, Nigeria.
    Indian J Public Health 2017 Oct-Dec;61(4):267-273
    Professor, Department of Community Health, College of Medical Sciences, School of Medicine, University of Benin, Benin Edo State, Nigeria.
    Background: Community-directed treatment with ivermectin (CDTI) was developed in the mid 1990's as a solution for the control and elimination of onchocerciasis. It requires that ivermectin be administered continuously over a period of at least 14 years with community involvement before elimination can be achieved.

    Objectives: The objective of this study is to assess the performance of CDTI strategy for control and elimination of onchocerciasis in endemic Local Government areas of Edo State. Read More

    Review of the factors influencing the motivation of community drug distributors towards the control and elimination of neglected tropical diseases (NTDs).
    PLoS Negl Trop Dis 2017 Dec 6;11(12):e0006065. Epub 2017 Dec 6.
    Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University Atlanta GA United States of America.
    Background: Community drug distributors or neglected tropical disease (NTD) volunteers have played a crucial role in ensuring the success of mass drug administration (MDA) programs using preventive chemotherapy (PC) for lymphatic filariasis, onchocerciasis, schistosomiasis, trachoma and soil transmitted helminths. In recent years however, a noticeable decline in motivation of some of these volunteers has been perceived, potentially negatively impacting the success of these programs. Potential hypotheses for this change in motivation include the long duration of many MDA programs, the change in sociocultural environments as well as the changes to the programs over time. Read More

    Serious Neurological Adverse Events after Ivermectin-Do They Occur beyond the Indication of Onchocerciasis?
    Am J Trop Med Hyg 2018 Feb 30;98(2):382-388. Epub 2017 Nov 30.
    Uppsala Monitoring Centre, Uppsala, Sweden.
    Serious neurological adverse events have been reported from large scale community-based ivermectin treatment campaigns againstin Africa. The mechanism of these events has been debated in the literature, largely focusing on the role of concomitant infection withversus the presence of mdr-1 gene variants in humans allowing ivermectin penetration into the central nervous system. A case series of serious neurological adverse events occurring with the use of ivermectin outside of the onchocerciasis indication has been identified in VigiBase, an international database of suspected adverse drug reactions. Read More

    A practical approach for scaling up the alternative strategy for the elimination of lymphatic filariasis inendemic countries - developing an action plan.
    Glob Health Res Policy 2017 1;2:12. Epub 2017 May 1.
    Department of Control of Neglected Tropical Diseases, World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland.
    Background: Lymphatic filariasis (LF) is a vector-borne parasitic disease that is being targeted for elimination through mass drug administration (MDA). The co-distribution ofin Central Africa poses a significant barrier to the expansion of the MDA due to risk of severe adverse events (SAEs) associated with the drug ivermectin that is routinely used. National LF programmes are yet to significantly scale up in co-endemic areas and need a practical approach to make preliminary decisions based on the mapping status and potential treatment strategies. Read More

    Morphology and Polytene Chromosomes of a New Species of Simulium (Trichodagmia) (Diptera: Simuliidae) from the Espinhaço Mountains of Brazil.
    J Med Entomol 2018 Jan;55(1):137-154
    Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences, Clemson University, Clemson, SC.
    The species richness of black flies in the Simulium (Trichodagmia) orbitale (Diptera: Simuliidae) species group is greatest in southern Brazil, where 9 of 19 species are found. A new species in the S. orbitale group was collected during a survey of black flies in Minas Gerais state, Brazil, in the Espinhaço Mountains, an area rich in endemic taxa. Read More

    Molecular Identification ofspp. Larvae insensu lato Collected in Northern Uganda.
    Am J Trop Med Hyg 2017 Dec;97(6):1843-1845
    Global Health Infectious Diseases Research Program, Department of Global Health, College of Public Health, University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida.
    Previous studies have demonstrated that the presence of larvae of other filarial species insensu lato can distort estimates of transmission potential forin West Africa. However, studies conducted in foci of onchocerciasis in West Central Uganda indicated that larvae other thanwere not common in vectors collected there. Recent data collected in Northern Uganda revealed a striking discordance between estimates of the prevalence of flies carryinginfective larvae obtained from molecular pool screening and dissection methods. Read More

    For as Long as Necessary: Examining 30 years of MSD's Focus on Achieving Elimination of Onchocerciasis and Lymphatic Filariasis.
    Int Health 2018 Mar;10(suppl_1):i3-i6
    Merck & Co., Inc., 2000 Galloping Hill Road, Kenilworth, NJ 07033,USA.
    Established by MSD, also known as Merck & Co., Inc., Kenilworth, NJ USA in 1987, the Mectizan Donation Program (MDP) is the longest running disease-specific program of its kind. Read More

    Application of optimal control to the onchocerciasis transmission model with treatment.
    Math Biosci 2017 Nov 23;297:43-57. Epub 2017 Nov 23.
    Department of Mathematical Sciences, University of Stellenbosch, Private Bag X1, Matieland 7602, South Africa.
    In this paper, we present a model for onchocerciasis that considers mass administration of ivermectin, contact prevention controls and vector elimination. The model equilibria are computed and stability analysis carried out in terms of the basic reproduction number R. The model is found to exhibit a backward bifurcation so that for Rless than unity is not sufficient to eradicate the disease from the population and the need is to lower Rto below a certain threshold, Rfor effective disease control. Read More

    Deciphering the fine nucleotide diversity of full HLA class I and class II genes in a well-documented population from sub-Saharan Africa.
    HLA 2018 Jan;91(1):36-51
    Laboratory of Anthropology, Genetics and Peopling History, Department of Genetics and Evolution - Anthropology Unit, University of Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland.
    With the aim to understand how next-generation sequencing (NGS) improves both our assessment of genetic variation within populations and our knowledge on HLA molecular evolution, we sequenced and analysed 8 HLA loci in a well-documented population from sub-Saharan Africa (Mandenka). The results of full-gene NGS-MiSeq sequencing compared with those obtained by traditional typing techniques or limited sequencing strategies showed that segregating sites located outside exon 2 are crucial to describe not only class I but also class II population diversity. A comprehensive analysis of exons 2, 3, 4 and 5 nucleotide diversity at the 8 HLA loci revealed remarkable differences among these gene regions, notably a greater variation concentrated in the antigen recognition sites of class I exons 3 and some class II exons 2, likely associated with their peptide-presentation function, a lower diversity of HLA-C exon 3, possibly related to its role as a KIR ligand, and a peculiar molecular diversity of HLA-A exon 2, revealing demographic signals. Read More

    Programmatic factors associated with the limited impact of Community-Directed Treatment with Ivermectin to control Onchocerciasis in three drainage basins of South West Cameroon.
    PLoS Negl Trop Dis 2017 Nov 20;11(11):e0005966. Epub 2017 Nov 20.
    Epidemiology and Control of Infectious Diseases, Department of Microbiology and Parasitology, University of Buea, Buea, Cameroon.
    Introduction: The CDTI model is known to have enhanced community participation in planning and resource mobilization toward the control of onchocerciasis. These effects were expected to translate into better individual acceptance of the intervention and hence high Treatment Coverage, leading to a sustainable community-led strategy and reduction in the disease burden. A survey revealed that after 10-12 rounds of treatment, prevalence of onchocerciasis was still high in three drainage basins of South West Cameroon and transmission was going on. Read More

    Are the estrogenic hormonal effects of environmental toxins affecting small intestinal bacterial and microfilaria overgrowth?
    Med Hypotheses 2017 Nov 28;109:90-94. Epub 2017 Sep 28.
    Wayne State College of Medicine, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, USA. Electronic address:
    The important role of microfilaria (worms) in human and animal disease remains an area of key disagreement between the naturopathic and allopathic physicians. While microfilaria infections are rampart in undeveloped countries, they rarely rise to identification as a cause of disease in Western countries. New research studies in the diagnosis and treatment of SIBO (Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth) and (IBD) Inflammatory Bowel Diseases of ulcerative colitis, Crohn's Disease and microcytic colitis may make both sides equally correct. Read More

    Nodding syndrome (NS) and() in Northern Uganda.
    Pan Afr Med J 2017 4;28. Epub 2017 Sep 4.
    Gulu University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Biochemistry, Gulu, Uganda.
    Nodding Syndrome (NS) is a childhood neurological disorder characterized by atonic seizures, cognitive decline, school dropout, muscle weakness, thermal dysfunction, wasting and stunted growth. There are recent published information suggesting associations between Nodding Syndrome (NS) with cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) VGKC antibodies and serum leiomidin-1 antibody cross reacting with(). These findings suggest a neuro-inflammatory cause of NS and they are important findings in the search for the cause of Nodding Syndrome. Read More

    Patent landscape of neglected tropical diseases: an analysis of worldwide patent families.
    Global Health 2017 Nov 14;13(1):82. Epub 2017 Nov 14.
    Department of Preventive Medicine, Faculty of Public Health, University of Debrecen, Debrecen, Hungary.
    Background: "Neglected Tropical Diseases" (NTDs) affect millions of people in Africa, Asia and South America. The two primary ways of strategic interventions are "preventive chemotherapy and transmission control" (PCT), and "innovative and intensified disease management" (IDM). In the last 5 years, phenomenal progress has been achieved. Read More

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