End of Year, End in Sight for Philippines, Niger 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: Ghana NTDP Sustainability Plan Workshop Participants, Oct 2021. Photo credit: Deloitte

Lymphatic filariasis

GLIDE: End of Malaria and Lymphatic Filariasis in Sight for Philippines...

Sara Viglione, Business Wire

Dr. Fe Esperanza Espino, a doctor who has developed an innovative way to help stamp out malaria and lymphatic filariasis (LF) in the Philippines has won a Falcon Award for Disease Elimination. The five winners were announced yesterday by the Global Institute for Disease Elimination (GLIDE) during a Universal Health Coverage Day event at EXPO 2020 Dubai.

Assessment of the Impact of Morbidity Management and Disability Prevention ....

L. Mathiarasan, Lalit Kumar Das and A. Krishnakumari, Indian Journal of Community Medicine

This study has revealed that the second arm of the GPELF, “MMDP” has not yielded the desired results as evidenced by the incidence of frequent ADL attacks and advancement of lymphedema grades.

Onchocerciasis

Elimination of transmission of onchocerciasis, or river blindness in Niger

Outbreak News Today

It was announced last Thursday at Expo 2020 Dubai that Niger is preparing the requisite paperwork for WHO verification and pending certification, and the country is now poised to be the first in Africa to declare it has eliminated the NTD – a feat once considered impossible.

Genome and proteome screening of Onchocerca volvulus reveal putative vaccine ...

Abraham Sheyin, Thaddeus Terlumun Gbem, Daniel Danladi Gaiya and Jonathan Andrew Nok, Molecular Biomedicine

This study has shown reverse vaccinology as a useful tool in screening and identification of antigenic proteins; without culturing any protein of the pathogen we were able to identify 23 putative vaccine candidates, from which many epitopes were predicted and we recommend that these candidates be used in Onchocerca volvulus experimental vaccine research, especially, the ones found to be orthologues to Brugia malayi/Dirofilaria immitis since there are animal models for the duo, but none for Onchocerca volvulus. In order to avoid the risk of autoimmunity, Fructose-1,6-bisphosphate aldolase of Onchocerca volvulus cannot serve as a vaccine candidate as it was found to be an orthologue of humans.

Treatment of Pregnant Women with Ivermectin during Mass Drug Distribution...

Astrid Christine Erber et al., Pathogens

To date, pregnant women are excluded from programmes delivering community-directed treatment of ivermectin (CDTI) for onchocerciasis and preventive chemotherapy of other helminthiases because of concerns over ivermectin safety during pregnancy. This systematic exclusion sustains an infection reservoir at the community level and deprives a vulnerable population from known benefits—there are indications that treating O. volvulus infected women may improve pregnancy outcomes and reduce the risk that their children develop onchocerciasis-associated morbidities. . . . Treatment of this population requires appropriate supporting evidence, for which we propose a three-pronged approach.

Call for articles: Special Issue "Onchocerciasis and River Epilepsy"

Pathogens

For this Special Issue of Pathogens, we invite you to submit research articles, review articles, short notes, as well as communications that could contribute to a better understanding of the link between onchocerciasis and epilepsy. 

Schistosomiasis

Amid the Conflict in Yemen, Mass Campaigns to End the Threat ...

The World Bank

During a recent four-day mass campaign, almost 860,000 children and adolescents between 6- and 19-years-old, were targeted (whether enrolled in school or not) across seven southern and eastern governorates, Abyan, Hadramout/Mukalla, Hadramout/Sayoun, Lahj, Mareb, Shabwa, and Taiz. In total, 37 districts, 373 team leaders, 1,070 team supervisors, and 2,140 drug distributors were involved and over 80% of the target population reached.

Team identifies lead compound to potentially treat schistosomiasis

Victoria Rees, Drug Target Review

Researchers have found a quinoxaline-core containing, non-genotoxic lead compound that could treat schistosomiasis following optimisation.

Urban schistosomiasis: An ecological study describing a new challenge ...

Elainne Christine de Souza Gomes et al., The Lancet Regional Health Americas

Although we observed a decreasing in schistosomiasis cases and STF, this NTD became a health problem related to urbanization in the study area. The challenge to overcome this new sort of transmission will require a greater understanding of the disorderly migration, spatial occupation, and degradation of the environment.

Soil-Transmitted Helminthiasis

Prevalence and associated factors of soil transmitted helminthiasis ...

Almaw Genet et al., Sage Open Medicine

The prevalence of STH was high and did not show significant variation between the two areas. Emphasis needs to be given for hygiene and lifestyle-related factors.

Trachoma

Trachoma control using water, sanitation, and hygiene

Robert Ntozini, The Lancet Global Health

Several key messages can be taken from the research by Aragie and colleagues. Low-cost WASH solutions have very little or no effect on trachoma control in endemic areas. Mass antibiotic treatment can control trachoma as long as it is sustained; however, prevalence quickly rises if treatment is interrupted. Marginalised populations carry the highest burden of trachoma, and encouraging poor households to implement their own WASH interventions with scarce resources has little effect on disease control. Deliberate government policies to implement transformative WASH interventions are essential as self-initiated household-level interventions take long to eliminate disease and improve health outcomes.

Water, sanitation, and hygiene for control of trachoma in Ethiopia (WUHA) ...

Solomon Aragie et al., The Lancet Global Health

An integrated WASH intervention addressing the F and E components of the SAFE strategy did not prevent an increase in prevalence of ocular chlamydia following cessation of antibiotics in an area with hyperendemic trachoma. The impact of WASH in the presence of annual mass azithromycin distributions is currently being studied in a follow-up trial of the 40 study clusters. Continued antibiotic distributions will probably be important in areas with persistent trachoma.

Cross-cutting

Nationwide Implementation of Disease Eradication Programme

Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (India)

The programme to eliminate various diseases namely Malaria, Lymphatic Filariasis, Kala-Azar, Tuberculosis, Leprosy have been implemented by Government of India. The National Centre for Vector Borne Diseases Control (NCVBDC) administers an umbrella programme, namely, National Vector Borne Diseases Control Programme (NVBDCP) for prevention and control of vector borne diseases. 

Senate urges FG to eradicate elephantiasis, leprosy, other tropical diseases

Peoples Gazette (Nigeria)

The lawmakers said urgent attention was needed to address the high prevalence of neglected tropical diseases in the country.

Ghana proceeds to the next phase of Neglected Tropical Diseases program ...

Act to End NTDs | West

USAID’s Act to End NTDs | West Program (Act | West) is supporting the Ghanaian NTD Program to strengthen its program operations, analyze its financial needs, and assess its current and desired state along a continuum of six sustainability outcomes (Coordination, Policy & Planning, Operational Capacity, Information Systems, Services, and Financing). Building on this momentum, the NTD Program commenced the creation of a sustainability plan that will guide the Program and its partners on the planning, implementation, and monitoring of steps taken to maintain and continue these achievements.

Invitation to Local Pharmaceutical Manufacturers to submit ...

USAID/USP

Request for submission of EOI for manufacturers of neglected tropical diseases (NTD) products toward WHO prequalification. Closing date: March 2022.

Twice neglected? Neglected diseases in neglected populations

Ethel D. Weld, Catriona Waitt, Karen Barnes and Facundo Garcia Bournissen, British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology

With this editorial, the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology hereby launches a call for high-quality articles focusing on NTDs in special populations, to facilitate and encourage the reversal of this dual neglect.

Other

WHO and Sanofi sign new agreement to sustain specific efforts to eliminate NTDs

Emily Henderson, News Medical Life Sciences

Under the new five-year US$ 25 million agreement (2021–2025), Sanofi will support WHO's global programme for elimination of human African trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness), leishmaniasis, control and prevention of Chagas disease and integrated control of the skin NTDs.

Drug targeting of aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases in Anopheles species ...

Soumyananda Chakraborti, Jyoti Chhibber-Goel and Amit Sharma, Parasites & Vectors

Structural analysis of two important aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases [prolyl (PRS) and phenylanalyl (FRS)] of Anopheles spp. suggests structural and sequence similarity with potential antimalarial inhibitor [halofuginone (HF) and bicyclic azetidine (BRD1369)] binding sites. This suggests the potential for repurposing of these inhibitors against the studied Anopheles spp. and Ae. aegypti.

Nonprofits Urge Addition of Deadly Noma Disease to WHO List

Henry Wilkins, Voice of America

The disfiguring disease noma, found mainly in poor areas of sub-Saharan Africa that lack health care, kills 90% of victims, most of them children, when left untreated. Noma is preventable, and to that end, aid groups are urging the World Health Organization to add Noma to its list of neglected tropical diseases.

UPCOMING EVENTS

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Is the end of schistosomiasis in sight?
December 21, 2021
Nala Foundation