Saudi Arabia Eliminates Trachoma 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

Dr. Ahmed Al Mandhari, WHO regional director for the Eastern Mediterranean. Photo courtesy WHO EMRO.


Lymphatic filariasis

Molecular and Antifilarial IgG4 Detection Using the miniPCR-Duplex Lateral Flow Dipstick and BmSxp-ELISA in Myanmar Immigrant Communities

Patimaporn Wongprompitak et al., Parasitologia

The miniPCR-DLFD method delivered results comparable to the standard PCR technique and it enables convenient and rapid visual detection of the parasite nucleic acid. Furthermore, the ELISA using BmSxp antigen demonstrated a sensitivity, specificity, and positive and negative predictive values of 98.1%, 98.9%, 96.3%, and 99.4% respectively. 

Community views on mass drug administration for filariasis...

Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine

Looking specifically at drugs given for lymphatic filariasis, the author team identified 29 studies for inclusion in Africa, South-East Asia, and South America published since 2000. The studies described some fundamental community concerns, which are missing from policy documents, to understand some of the failings of MDA programmes and to help with better programme design in the future.

Semi-Automated Microfluidic Device Combined with a MiniPCR-Duplex...

Achinya Phuakrod et al., Micromachines

Microfilariae screening and visual species identification using our microfluidic device plus miniPCR-DLFD platform yielded results concordant with those of the gold standard thick blood smear technique. The microfluidic device, the miniPCR and the DLFD are all portable and do not require additional equipment. Use of this screening and visual species identification platform will facilitate reliable, cost-effective, and rapid surveillance for the presence of LF infection in resource-poor settings.


Navigating the way to onchocerciasis elimination: the feasibility ...

Louise Hamill et al., International Health

This information will be valuable to policymakers and donors as they seek to prioritise onchocerciasis elimination and plan to complete OEM [onchocerciasis elimination mapping].


WHO guideline on control and elimination of human schistosomiasis

World Health Organization

This guideline provides evidence-based recommendations in the following areas: prevalence thresholds, target age groups and frequency of PC, establishment of WASH and snail control activities to support control and elimination of schistosomiasis, diagnostic tests for the assessment of schistosomiasis infection in animal reservoirs, in snail hosts, and in humans. The guideline will provide support to Member States, programme managers, health workers and other stakeholders on the implementation of national schistosomiasis control and elimination programme.

The 2022 WHO Schistosomiasis Guideline – New ways for HUGS...

Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine

The format of this the WHO Guideline on Control and Elimination of Schistosomiasis is just over 60 pages, with 6 Annexes. Collectively, it describes the process and outcome of the many face-to-face and online deliberations of the GDG. This guideline is unlike those before on schistosomiasis which have been based upon expert review alone. Today's guideline takes a less biased approach upon consideration of systematic reviews and more generally appraising published evidence more broadly. In total, there are 6 main recommendations which each following judgments based upon the GRADE criteria as outlined by the following rubric...

Translating From Egg- to Antigen-Based Indicators for Schistosoma ...

Jessica Clark et al., Frontiers in Tropical Diseases

We aimed to standardize POC-CCA score interpretation and translate them to Kato-Katz-based standards, broadening diagnostic utility in progress towards elimination. 

Vaccines for Human Schistosomiasis: Recent Progress...

Adebayo J. Molehin, Donald P. McManus and Hong You, International Journal of Molecular Sciences

This review summarizes current progress of schistosomiasis vaccines under clinical development and advocates the urgent need for the establishment of a revolutionary and effective anti-schistosome vaccine pipeline utilizing cutting-edge technologies (including developing mRNA vaccines and exploiting CRISPR-based technologies) to provide novel insight into future vaccine discovery, design, manufacture and deployment.

Persistence of Schistosoma haematobium transmission ...

Vivian Mushi, Abdallah Zacharia, Magdalena Shao, Marycelina Mubi and Donath Tarimo, PLOS One

The observed 52.7% prevalence of S.haematobium infection represents unacceptably high prevalence after 12 rounds of preventive chemotherapy. Therefore, an urgent need for the implementation of integrated multiple control interventions in the Mtama district; is considered to be imperative.

Drug Repurposing and De Novo Drug Discovery of Protein Kinase...

Bernardo Pereira Moreira et al., Molecules

Here, we discuss the various approaches including screening of natural and synthetic compounds, de novo drug development, and drug repurposing in the context of the search for protein kinase inhibitors against schistosomiasis. We discuss the status quo of the development of kinase inhibitors against schistosomal serine/threonine kinases such as polo-like kinases (PLKs) and mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAP kinases), as well as protein tyrosine kinases (PTKs).

Nuclear genome of Bulinus truncatus, an intermediate host...

Neil D. Young et al., Nature Communications

Conspicuous were expansions in signalling and membrane trafficking proteins, peptidases and their inhibitors as well as gene families linked to immune response regulation, such as a large repertoire of lectin-like molecules. This work provides a sound basis for further studies of snail-parasite interactions in the search for targets to block schistosomiasis transmission.

Soil-Transmitted Helminthiasis

Co-infection of intestinal helminths in humans and animals in the Philippines

Olumayowa T Kajero et al., Transactions of The Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene

Associations are likely to exist between STH species in humans and animals, possibly due to shared exposures and transmission routes. Individual factors and behaviours will play a key role in the occurrence of co-infections, which will have effects on disease severity. Moreover, the implications of co-infection for the emergence of zoonoses need to be explored further.

WFP Timor-Leste Country Brief, December 2021

Relief Web

WFP [World Food Programme] signed a Standard Administrative Agreement (SAA) with Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) and a MoU with the World Health Organization on the joint SN5S — Say No to 5S (Starvation, Soil-transmitted Helminthiasis, Skin diseases, Smoking, and Sugary/alcoholic drinks in schools) — project. The joint KOICA SN5S project will improve the health and nutrition of school-aged children in Timor-Leste over the next five years.

Knowledge, Attitudes, and Practices regarding STH ...

Udomsak Narkkul et al., Tropical Medicine and Infectious Disease

In conclusion, the development of training programs and health promotion should be considered to enhance the knowledge, attitudes, and practices related to soil-transmitted helminthiasis in VHVs [village health volunteers], who are the key individuals for providing health education to community members.


Eye disease trachoma no longer a public health concern in Saudi Arabia, WHO says

Mariam Nihal, The National News (UAE)

The World Health Organisation on Wednesday said trachoma, a neglected eye disease that can cause blindness, was no longer a public health problem in Saudi Arabia. The WHO credited the health ministry's move to integrate a comprehensive eye care programme into the kingdom's primary health care services – the first point of contact in the healthcare system – with helping to turn the tide against the disease, which is the number one cause of preventable blindness around the world.

Saudi Arabia eliminates trachoma as a public health problem

International Coalition for Trachoma Control

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has been officially validated by the World Health Organization (WHO) for eliminating trachoma as a public health problem. Saudi Arabia is the 12th country to achieve this milestone globally and the fourth country in the WHO Eastern Mediterranean Region to do so. Trachoma, the world’s leading infectious cause of blindness, was successfully eliminated in the country alongside efforts to integrate trachoma interventions into its national eye care programme. Furthermore, increased cross-ministerial collaboration between the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Education and of Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture, helped to improve health education and environmental determinants of health.  


Vietnam: Neglected tropical diseases in an emerging and accelerating economy

Kala Pham and Peter J Hotez, PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases

The Socialist Republic of Vietnam (Vietnam) has made tremendous strides in reducing its disease burden from tropical infections, including malaria and neglected tropical diseases (NTDs). . . Here, we provide a brief update on these activities, including Vietnam’s prospects for disease elimination or, in some instances, disease reemergence.

Flagship Training Programme Boosts Research in Neglected Tropical ...

Kerry Cullinan, Health Policy Watch

The aim is to ensure that the research is done by the researchers based in the disease-endemic countries and for the institutions and students to network.


Opinion: The road to ending visceral leishmaniasis

Aida Meskel, Devex

Since 2011, Gilead has donated more than 825,000 vials of AmBisome for patients in endemic countries, such as Bangladesh, Ethiopia, and India. In 2016, as we renewed our commitment to the elimination of VL, we also provided funding to both governmental and nongovernmental organizations that could be used as investment into the health services that were most needed, such as the building of new clinics, hiring of personnel, and procuring of better diagnostics. This partnership has significantly broadened access to better treatment and has improved health outcomes for thousands of people. 

Snakebite envenoming: a hidden health crisis

Buddha Basnyat and Olita Shilpakar, The Lancet Global Health

Two Articles by Gabriel Alcoba and colleagues and Sara Babo Martins and colleagues published in this issue of The Lancet Global Health report on snakebite envenoming in Nepal's Terai (plains) region, where it borders with India, and it's devastating impact, providing a wealth of much-needed information on this neglected area.

Call for Applications: Donald Krogstad Award for Early-Career Malian Scientists

American Society of Tropical Medicine & Hygiene

As a result of the generosity of the Krogstad family, the Donald Krogstad Award for Early-Career Malian Scientists provides funding of $25,000 total for up to two years for scientists from Mali to pursue research in tropical medicine and/or public health with the goal of improving the lives of Malians. This award will support an early-career Malian scientist in pursuing research that aims to blend laboratory and field epidemiological approaches broadly related to solving priority health issues in Mali. Submit by March 17.

Save the Date - COR-NTD Meeting October 4 - 5, 2022

The Coalition for Operational Research on Neglected Tropical Diseases

We are pleased to announce the Coalition for Operational Research on Neglected Tropical Diseases (COR-NTD) meeting for 2022 will take place virtually, Oct. 4 and 5. We have returned to the traditional format for breakout sessions, where scientific presentations are followed by in depth group discussions. Topics for breakout sessions will be solicited from the community via a call for proposals. Successful breakout proposals will be focused on a research topic of interest to the global NTD community and designed to move the operational research agenda forward. Look for the call in early March.

Govt looks to develop drug to treat dengue within 5 years

Rhythma Kaul, Hindustan Times

A collaborative research project between a government institute and a non-profit is aiming to develop a safe, affordable and effective treatment for dengue fever within five years, according to people familiar with the development.

The Transitional Health Science and Technology Institute (THSTI), an autonomous institute of the department of biotechnology in the ministry of science and technology, is working with the Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi) India Foundation to develop the new treatment.

PATH partners with Uttar Pradesh Government to tackle neglected ...

Sairam Thota, Digitpatrox Health

Since 2018, PATH has supported the federal government of India’s efforts to get rid of visceral leishmaniasis in Uttar Pradesh, the place the illness is prevalent in 14 of 75 districts. . . In 2018, the federal government of Uttar Pradesh partnered with the United Nations Kids’s Fund to launch DASTAK—which implies “a knock on the door” in Hindi—a lively case detection marketing campaign. PATH has been offering end-to-end assist to DASTAK since its launch.


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Advancing an Equity-Driven Global Health Agenda: Spotlight on Africa
March 3, 2022
GLIDE - Global Institute for Disease Elimination

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