In Rwanda, Basketball Unifies Partners To Say 'No to NTDs' 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: Students and lab scientists with the Stool Stomper. Photo by K. Sullivan

Lymphatic filariasis

Extracellular vesicles secreted by Brugia malayi microfilariae modulate the melanization pathway in the mosquito host

Hannah J. Loghry, et al., Scientific Reports

Vector-borne, filarial nematode diseases cause significant disease burdens in humans and domestic animals worldwide. Although there is strong direct evidence of parasite-driven immunomodulation of mammalian host responses, there is less evidence of parasite immunomodulation of the vector host. We have previously reported that all life stages of Brugia malayi, a filarial nematode and causative agent of Lymphatic filariasis, secrete extracellular vesicles (EVs). Here we investigate the immunomodulatory effects of microfilariae-derived EVs on the vector host Aedes aegypti. RNA-seq analysis of an Ae. aegypti cell line treated with B. malayi microfilariae EVs showed differential expression of both mRNAs and miRNAs. AAEL002590, an Ae. aegypti gene encoding a serine protease, was shown to be downregulated when cells were treated with biologically relevant EV concentrations in vitro. Injection of adult female mosquitoes with biologically relevant concentrations of EVs validated these results in vivo, recapitulating the downregulation of AAEL002590 transcript. This gene was predicted to be involved in the mosquito phenoloxidase (PO) cascade leading to the canonical melanization response and correspondingly, both suppression of this gene using RNAi and parasite EV treatment reduced PO activity in vivo. Our data indicate that parasite-derived EVs interfere with critical immune responses in the vector host, including melanization.

Soil-Transmitted Helminthiasis

Engaging Youth: Georgia Tech Students Use New Technology to Detect Soil-Transmitted Helminths in Tanzania

Andi Kezh, The Task Force for Global Health

The World Health Organization estimates that about 25% of the world’s population is infected with soil-transmitted helminths (STH), a group of intestinal worms transmitted through contaminated soil. STH are most commonly found in tropical climates in countries with poor access to water, hygiene, and sanitation, and can cause malnutrition and physical impairment, with school-aged children often carrying the largest burden of infection.

A group of undergraduate students at Georgia Institute of Technology’s College of Engineering have devised a new prototype to aid in STH diagnostics as part of their senior capstone project.

Researchers confirm new drug for treating helminths

Harriet Kiama, Daily News (Tanzania)

Researchers at Ifakara Health Institute (IHI) in collaboration with Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH) have confirmed the first new drug for treating human parasitic worm infections in decades.

The new drug candidate known as “Emodepside” has proved to be effective in treating three main soil-transmitted helminths namely Trichuris trichiura (whipworm), hookworm and Ascaris lumbricoides (roundworm).


Meet the woman whose study of insects helps prevent Neglected Tropical Diseases

Melody Chironda and allAfrica, Premium Times (Nigeria)

Africa is on the brink of achieving a major victory over deadly diseases that have plagued its population for generations. With increased access to medical care, improved healthcare infrastructure, and a renewed focus on disease eradication, the continent is closer than ever to rid itself of illnesses that have taken a devastating toll on its people.

Beninois entomologist Pelagie Boko-Collins believes that preventative action should always be the first course of approach. She places proactive measures at the highest priority, emphasising that prevention is better than cure.

In Rwanda, Basketball Unifies Partners To Say 'No to NTDs'

Young people are one of Africa’s greatest assets. But Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) continue to undermine Africa’s bright future as the continent bears 40% of the global burden of these diseases. NTDs can be devastating, including causing severe pain, disabilities and deformities, malnutrition, stunted growth and cognitive impairment. Anaemia caused by some of these diseases have a direct impact on maternal mortality. NTDs are a set of 20 diseases or disease groups that occur predominantly in tropical and subtropical areas. They include lymphatic filariasis, more commonly known as elephantiasis, onchocerciasis or river blindness, schistosomiasis, or bilharzia, as well as human African trypanosomiasis, often called sleeping sickness. 

RECFAM partners GHS to eradicate yaws, lymphatic filariasis in Aowin


Research and Counselling Foundation for African Migrants (RECFAM), an international organisation, in collaboration with the Aowin Municipal Health Directorate of the Ghana Health Service (GHS) has launched a project to eradicate yaws and elephantiasis from the Aowin Municipality.

Ahead of rainy season, Punjab health minister urges people to clean all possible water-stagnation points

Punjab News Express

With the rainy season around the corner, Punjab Health and Family Welfare Minister Dr Balbir Singh on Tuesday chaired a meeting of the state task force to chalk-out a strategy to prevent the outbreak of vector-borne diseases in the state. Vector-borne diseases include Dengue, Chikunguniya, Malaria, Lymphatic Filariasis, Japanese Encephalitis and Kala Azar.


Capacity building through comprehensive implementation research training and mentorship: an approach for translating knowledge into practice

Emmanuel Asampong, et al., Globalization and Health

Implementation research (IR) is increasingly gaining popularity as the act of carrying an intention into effect. It is thus an important approach to addressing individual practices, policies, programmes and other technologies to solving public health problems. Low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) continue to experience public health problems which could be addressed using implementation research. These countries however fall behind prioritizing implementation research due to the disorganized approach used to providing knowledge about the value and scope of implementation research. This paper seeks to explain steps taken to resolve this by capacity strengthening activities through a comprehensive implementation research training and mentorship programme which was informed by needs assessment.

2022 Mectizan Donation Program Annual Highlights

Mectizan Donation Program

MDP 2022: Celebrating 35 Years of Mectizan | This annual report publication summarizes the accomplishments of the Mectizan Donation Program and its partners in 2022.

Vote for Outstanding NTD OR Achievements


Thanks to those who submitted ideas for the community's most outstanding OR achievements. Now, it's time to vote! The 10 achievements with the most votes will be featured in a video at the COR-NTD Annual Meeting. Please vote by June 11. 

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