Kudos to Rwanda on Eliminating Human African Trypanosomiasis as a Public Health Problem 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: Trypanosomiasis, human African (sleeping sickness); WHO 

Photo credit: MSF/C. Mahoudeau


Lymphatic filariasis

Bma-LAD-2, an Intestinal Cell Adhesion Protein, as a Potential Therapeutic Target for Lymphatic Filariasis

Alexander F. Flynn et al., American Society for Microbiology

These results indicate that Bma-LAD-2 is an essential protein for adult Brugia malayi and may be an effective therapeutic target.

Ethiopia could be free of lymphatic filariasis in three years after UAE-led initiative

Gillian Duncan, The National (UAE)

Ethiopia could be free of a disabling parasitic infection in as little as three years with the help of a UAE-led initiative. . . He [Seife] was speaking at an event in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday to announce a significant funding boost for RLMF [Reaching the Last Mile], a $22.5-million-dollar investment over the next three years by The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust.


High infection rates for onchocerciasis and soil-transmitted helminthiasis in children under five not receiving preventive chemotherapy: a bottleneck to elimination

Hugues C. Nana-Djeunga et al., Infectious Diseases of Poverty

This study reveals that children < 5 years of age are highly infected with STH and onchocerciasis, and could contribute to the spread of these diseases, perpetuating a vicious circle of transmission and hampering elimination efforts. 


Over 1.8 million children receive treatment for bilharzia and intestinal worms

Vivian Mugarisi, World Health Organization Zimbabwe

At least 1.8 million received free oral treatment for schistosomiasis (bilharzia) and soil transmitted helminthiasis (intestinal worms) during a mass treatment exercise conducted from 3-9 April 2022. 

An Update on Schistosomiasis: Prevalence, Intensity of Infection and Risk Factors among School-Aged Children in Njombe, Littoral Region, Cameroon

Cedric Gide Dagang Nzenou et al., International Journal of Tropical Disease & Health

There was a drastic decline in the prevalence of schistosomiasis infection in schoolchildren in Njombé compared to previous reports. The decrease is attributed to the bi-annual deworming campaign by the Public Health Authorities.

Soil-Transmitted Helminthiasis

Impact of Anthelmintic Treatment on the Burden of Helminth Infections in Primary Schoolchildren in Biyela Health Zone in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo

Linsuke S, Matangila J, Doua J-Y, Lutumba P and Van Geertruyden J-P, Austin Journal of Public Health and Epidemiology

These findings suggest that anthelminthic treatment reduces significantly the prevalence of helminth infections. There was no impact on anaemia and Hb level due to the use of anthelmintic drugs.

Are helminth infections making children fall short?

Eleanor Raj, BugBitten

Parasitic worm (helminth) infections are often described as a cause of stunting in children. However, a variety of factors can contribute to childhood stunting. Our recent systematic review found a lack of data to support this causative nexus and highlights the need for more research on this topic, particularly to recognise the role of maternal health and possible in utero stunting.


Prevalence of Trachoma from 66 Impact Surveys in 52 Woredas of Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples’ and Sidama Regions of Ethiopia, 2017–2019

Dawit Seyum et al., Ophthalmic Epidemiology

Based on the findings, further antibiotic mass drug administration is required in 37 woredas and active TT case finding is needed in 40 woredas. In these surveys, access to WASH facilities was very low; WASH improvements are required.

A national survey integrating clinical, laboratory, and WASH data to determine the typology of trachoma in Nauru

Kathleen D. Lynch et al., PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases

TF, nucleic acid, and age-specific antibody prevalence collectively indicate that high levels of Ctrachomatis transmission among children present a high risk of ocular damage due to trachoma. The absence of trichiasis with trachomatous scarring suggest a relatively recent increase in transmission intensity.

Productivity, efficiency and gender equity of community mobilisation approaches in trichiasis campaigns: analysis of programmatic data from seven sub-Saharan African countries

Ehtisham ul Hassan et al., International Health

In these settings, house-to-house case finding appears to be a more effective and efficient approach to ensure that trichiasis cases, particularly in women, obtain access to surgical services.


Colorimetric and Real-Time Loop-Mediated Isothermal Amplification (LAMP) for Detection of Loa loa DNA in Human Blood Samples

Begoña Febrer-Sendra et al., Diagnostics

Our Loa loa-LAMP could be a promising molecular tool for the easy, rapid and accurate screening of patients for loiasis in endemic areas with low-resource settings. The real-time testing (feasible in a handheld device) could be very useful to rule out high-microfilariae loads in infected patients.

The disease that lurks for decades

Christine Ro, BBC

The non-profit Drugs for Neglected Diseases Initiative (DNDi)is funding a trial of rapid tests in Santiago del Estero. . . DNDi has also been running clinical trials of shortened treatment regimens with benznidazole, though with relatively small samples thus far. While benznidazole is an imperfect tool to fight Chagas, it’s the best one currently available, so at least reducing the treatment period from two months to two weeks can make it easier to handle any side effects.

£5 million award for leading Scottish research centre

Jonathan Watson, University of Dundee

The University of Dundee’s Wellcome Centre for Anti-Infectives Research (WCAIR) has received more than £5 million from the Wellcome Trust to advance its world-leading research into neglected tropical diseases. 

The @WHO validated #Rwanda on 26 April 2022 for having eliminated Human African Trypanosomiasis #HAT (commonly known as Sleeping Sickness) as a Public Health problem.

Ministry of Health Rwanda

Congratulations to Rwanda! The WHO validated Rwanda on 26 April, 2022, for having eliminated Human African Trypanosomiasis #HAT (commonly known as Sleeping Sickness) as a Public Health problem.

Ministry of Health, Malaysia and Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative combine forces to lead the battle against dengue

Molly Jagpal and Asha Thanabalan, Drugs for Neglected Diseases Initiative

Malaysian Ministry of Health through Clinical Research Malaysia (CRM) today joined forces with the international non-profit medical research organization Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi) in a collaboration that aims to develop safe, affordable, and effective treatments for dengue fever.


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

Training Course: Parasite Genetics of Neglected Tropical Diseases
May 9-13, 2022
TrypanoGEN+ consortium, Makerere University, Uganda Virus Research Institute, Africa Centre of Excellence for Neglected Tropical Diseases and Forensic Biotechnology 

Diagnosis of schistosomiasis by CCA or CAA detecting lateral flow tests: Facts and challenges.
June 14, 2022
Global Schistosomiasis Alliance

47th Annual Topics in Infection
June 17, 2022
RSTMH, Barts Health and UKHSA

Worldleish7 (the international Congress on leishmaniasis)
Aug. 1-6, 2022

2022 COR-NTD Annual Meeting
October 4-5, 2022
Coalition for Operational Research on Neglected Tropical Diseases

2022 ASTMH Annual Meeting
October 30-November 3, 2022
American Society of Tropical Medicine & Hygiene 

21st International Leprosy Congress 2022
November 8-10, 2022