Digital PCR: modern solution to parasite diagnostics and population trait genetics and other NTD news

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 Coalition for Operational Research on Neglected Tropical Diseases or the Neglected Tropical Diseases Support Center.

Photo credit: Meet the Unbreakable Antoinette SainfabeThe Carter Center/E. Staub

Lymphatic filariasis

Meet the Unbreakable Antoinette Sainfabe

The Carter Center

Antoinette Sainfabe, about 40, lives in a destitute section of Léogâne, the epicenter of the catastrophic earthquake that struck Haiti in 2010. She was buried under the rubble of her home for three days; a diagonal scar across her forehead serves as a reminder of the trauma. Sainfabe and her children lived beneath a banana tree for three years until a relief organization built her a new home beside the ruins of the crumbled one. Her children love her signature beans-and-rice dish, but her part-time cleaning job doesn’t pay enough for her to buy fresh food every day. Sainfabe contracted lymphatic filariasis (LF) from the bites of infected mosquitoes. 


Rapid ethnography and participatory techniques increase onchocerciasis mass drug administration treatment coverage in Benin: a difference-in-differences analysis

Arianna Rubin Means, et al., Implementation Science Communications

Onchocerciasis, a neglected tropical disease (NTD) that causes blindness, is controlled via mass drug administration (MDA) where entire endemic communities are targeted with preventative chemotherapeutic treatment. However, in many settings, MDA coverage remains low. The purpose of this project was to determine if engaging communities in the development of implementation strategies improves MDA coverage.


Prevalence and risk distribution of schistosomiasis among adults in Madagascar: a cross-sectional study

Sarah Katharina Gruninger, et al., Infectious Diseases of Poverty

The goal to eliminate the parasitic disease of poverty schistosomiasis as a public health problem is aligned with the 2030 United Nations agenda for sustainable development goals, including universal health coverage (UHC). Current control strategies focus on school-aged children, systematically neglecting adults. We aimed at providing evidence for the need of shifting the paradigm of schistosomiasis control programs from targeted to generalized approaches as key element for both the elimination of schistosomiasis as a public health problem and the promotion of UHC.

Ultrasound aspects and risk factors associated with urogenital schistosomiasis among primary school children in Mali

Privat Agniwo, et al., Infectious Diseases of Poverty

Urogenital schistosomiasis is endemic in Mali and is a major cause of serious morbidity in large parts of the world. This disease is responsible for many socio-economic and public health issues. The aim of this study was to investigate the impact of the disease on morbidity and to describe demographic and socioeconomic factors in relation to the status of children with urogenital schistosomiasis in Mali.

[Government] takes bilharzia treatment to schools, hotspots

Vanessa Gonye, NewsDay (Zimbabwe)

The Health and Child Care ministry says it has taken bilharzia treatment to schools and other hotspots to reduce the burden of the disease by at least 80 percent.

Soil-Transmitted Helminthiasis

Clinical trials find herbal porridge effective in deworming

Magdaline Saya, The Star (Kenya)

Clinical trials conducted on a deworming porridge in various schools in Kenya have found it to be highly nutritive, effective in deworming and clears child skin infections.


About 25 million Ghanaians are exposed to NTDs — NGO reveals

Modern Ghana

About 25 million Ghanaians are highly exposed and risk contracting Neglected Tropical Diseases, Mr Raphael Godlove Ahenu, the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Global Media Foundation, a health-centered media advocacy non-governmental organisation has said.

Digital PCR: modern solution to parasite diagnostics and population trait genetics

Paulius Baltrušis and Johan Höglund, Parasites & Vectors

The use of dPCR offers unique opportunities for the rapid identification of parasite DNA with unparalleled precision using a variety of samples from different hosts and/or the environment. 


Dengue as a Disease Threatening Global Health: A Narrative Review Focusing on Latin America and Brazil

Carlos Letacio Silveira Lessa , Katharine Valéria Saraiva Hodel, Marilda de Souza Gonçalves, and Bruna Aparecida Souza Machado, Tropical Medicine and Infectious Disease

Arboviruses constitute the largest known group of viruses. These viruses are the etiological agents of pathologies known as arboviruses, with dengue being one of the most prevalent. Dengue has resulted in important socioeconomic burdens placed on different countries around the world, including those in Latin America, especially Brazil. Thus, this work intends to carry out a narrative-based review of the literature, conducted using a study of the secondary data developed through a survey of scientific literature databases, and to present the situation of dengue, particularly its distribution in these localities. Our findings from the literature demonstrate the difficulties that managers face in controlling the spread of and planning a response against dengue, pointing to the high cost of the disease for public coffers, rendering the resources that are already limited even scarcer. This can be associated with the different factors that affect the spread of the disease, including ecological, environmental, and social factors. Thus, in order to combat the disease, it is expected that targeted and properly coordinated public policies need to be adopted not only in specific localities, but also globally.

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