Snail competition leads to fewer parasites that cause schistosomiasis 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: Field research was conducted in the Mwanza region of Tanzania where schistosomiasis is endemic. Running water is often not accessible in the area and many people use surface water ponds and hand-dug open wells that dot the clay-soil landscape. Credit: Civitello Lab

Lymphatic filariasis

DOLF team to provide clinical care to men with hydrocele in Cote d’Ivoire

Philip Budge, Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis

With support from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and in partnership with the local partner Swiss Center for Scientific research in Cote d’Ivoire and the Ivorian National NTD Program, DOLF investigators helped organizing surgical hydrocelectomy training this week in Agboville, Cote d’Ivoire. Eight surgeons from various parts of Cote d’Ivoire, 2 nurses, and 2 anesthesiologists are participating. They will go on to train others in their home districts, which will build national capacity to help those affected. As part of the training, seventeen patients are receiving life-changing surgeries this week at the Regional Hospital in Agboville. 

Nepal to use ivermectin to stamp out filariasis

Arjun Poudel, The Kathmandu Post

The drug, which was also used in Covid-19 treatment, will be administered along with diethylcarbamazine and albendazole in selected districts.


Advancing the Sustainable Development Goals through improving eye ...

Justine H Zhang et al., The Lancet Planetary Health

These findings provide a comprehensive perspective on the direct links between eye health services and advancing the SDGs.

Onchocerciasis Control Campaign Goes Digital To Reach Millions...


In 2021, USAID partnered with the government of Benin’s National Program for the Prevention of Communicable Diseases (PNLMT) to promote the use of digital technology in health campaigns. To improve the use and distribution of medicine, health workers used more than 3,200 smartphones and 350 solar chargers during an onchocerciasis health campaign between March and November 2021 to track dispersal of ivermectin tablets, which are used to treat onchocerciasis. The data, which was available in real time to health teams and coordinating offices, guided decision-making and provided feedback to resolve logistical and planning issues. 

Surveillance for Onchocerciasis-Associated Epilepsy and OV16 IgG4 Testing ...

Alfred Dusabimana et al., Pathogens

In conclusion, Ov16 IgG4 RDT testing of 6–10-year-old children is a cheap and rapid method to determine the level of ongoing O. volvulus transmission and to assess, together with surveillance for OAE, the performance of onchocerciasis elimination programs.

MSD and the Mectizan Donation Program Donate $500,000 ...


Today the Mectizan® Donation Program (MDP) and MSD announced a $500,000 donation to strengthen laboratory capacity to support onchocerciasis elimination in Africa in partnership with the World Health Organization (WHO)'s Collaborating Centre for Onchocerciasis Diagnostics at the College of Public Health, University of South Florida (USF). . . Funds from this grant will be used to help laboratories in Africa to process the required serological and molecular (PCR) diagnostics for onchocerciasis. 


Snail competition leads to fewer parasites that cause schistosomiasis

Carol Clark, Emory University

A new study led by Emory University, however, shows that schistosome transmission can actually be highest when freshwater snail populations are low. The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences published the study, the first to demonstrate how the size of a freshwater snail population relates to its parasitic infection rate. “We’ve shown that the more snails you have in a freshwater source, the less dangerous each individual snail is, in terms of the number of parasites they’re releasing,” says David Civitello, an Emory assistant professor of biology and lead author of the study. “The incredible strength of our finding is that we’ve demonstrated the effect both in the field, using natural transmission sites, and in an experimental context, through outdoor laboratory experiments.” 

Discovery of a Hidden Schistosomiasis Endemic in the Salamat Region of Chad ...

Timothy Visclosky, Andrew Hashikawa and Eric Kroner, Global Health: Science and Practice

There is a 55% prevalence of urogenital schistosomiasis among school-age children in the Salamat Region of Chad, Africa. These findings provide vital epidemiologic data and outline an efficient, culturally sensitive, and reproducible method for conducting mass chemotherapy campaigns in resource-limited settings.

Knowledge, attitudes, and practices regarding schistosomiasis infection ...

Maxson Kenneth Anyolitho et al., PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases

Despite adequate knowledge of schistosomiasis and a positive attitude towards its prevention, existing myths and misconceptions, coupled with persistent risky water, sanitation, and hygiene practices still pose a challenge. A more robust community-based awareness intervention using bottom-up participatory approaches, accompanied by the provision of clean and safe water sources and increasing latrine coverage, could provide lasting solutions to these barriers.

Rhosheen Mthawanji Awarded the MERCK Schistosomiasis Research Grant

Malawi-Liverpool-Wellcome Clinical Research-Programme

Rhosheen Mthawanji has been awarded €30,000 from the MERCK Schistosomiasis research grant to implement a study called “Malacological surveillance for intermediate hosts of schistosomiasis in 10 Districts of Malawi, using communities in the local villages for snail identification and control."

Resourcing schistosomiasis elimination – changing the rules ...

Wendy Harrison, SCI Foundation

Last month, the new WHO guidelines on control and elimination of human schistosomiasis were launched. . . It is increasingly clear, based on the new guidance as well as recent modelling, that existing strategies of preventative chemotherapy targeting only school-aged children will not lead to the elimination of schistosomiasis. The new guidance represents a strategic shift from disease control strategies that require continuous rounds of preventative chemotherapy indefinitely into the future to multi-sectoral interventions that tackle the transmission of  parasites. 

Soil-Transmitted Helminthiasis

Different gut microbial communities correlate with efficacy ...

Pierre H. H. Schneeberger et al., Nature Communications

This study shows that pre-treatment enterotype enables predicting treatment outcome of combination therapy for T. trichiura and hookworm infections.

Evaluation of School-Based Health Education Intervention on the Incidence ...

Clement Ameh Yaro et al., Journal of Parasitology Research

School-based health education intervention had no significant impact on STH incidence in pupils of rural schools in Kogi East. Community-based deworming should be encouraged alongside improvement in the water, sanitation, and hygiene infrastructures and practices at both school and home.

Depriving Out-of-School Children of Deworming Tablets ...

Avijit Saha et al., Tropical Medicine and Infectious Disease

Building community awareness and periodic epidemiological assessment can further facilitate an improved drug intake.


Let’s pay extra attention to neglected tropical diseases: Noguchi

Hadiza Nuhhu-Billa Quansah, Graphic Online (Ghana)

According to the Director of the institute, Professor Dorothy Yeboah-Manu, compared to other diseases, little attention has been paid to NTD in Ghana and the world over. . . She said the data from a 2019 study in Ghana places the country on the 70/100 NTD mass treatment coverage index with the records that 8.81 million people received treatment in Ghana for five of the diseases and 8.41 million people did not receive treatment in Ghana.

JCU to continue fight against disabling tropical diseases ...

James Cook University (Australia)

JCU's College of Public Health, Medical and Veterinary Sciences (CPHMVS) has been re-designated a WHO Collaborating Centre for Vector-borne and Neglected Tropical Diseases. . .


Global health champion Dr. Paul Farmer has died

Malaka Gharib and Nurith Aizenman, NPR (USA)

Dr. Paul Farmer, global health champion, Harvard Medical School professor, anthropologist and co-founder of the nonprofit health organization Partners in Health, has died at age 62. 

Professional Certificate in Health and Humanitarian Supply Chain ...

Georgia Tech Health and Humanitarian Systems

The Georgia Tech Center for Health and Humanitarian Systems offers a professional education certificate program designed for practitioners in a variety of organizations, including governmental and non-governmental organizations and the private sector.  Starting April 6, 2022, each course can be taken individually or as part of the full certificate program, offered at a reduced fee. A limited number of scholarships are available thanks to generous support from The UPS Foundation.

Apply for the 2022 Ben Kean Fellowship

American Society of Tropical Medicine & Hygiene

The ASTMH’s Ben Kean Travel Fellowship offers full-time medical students (any year) an opportunity to enhance their education by experiencing tropical medicine firsthand. Medical students who arrange a clinical tropical medicine or tropical medicine research elective in areas afflicted by diseases or illnesses common in the tropics are encouraged to apply by March 27.

Assessment of the effect of snakebite on health and socioeconomic factors using a One Health perspective in the Terai region of Nepal: a cross-sectional study

Sara Babo Martins et al., The Lancet Global Health

These findings present robust evidence on the extent of snakebite’s health and socioeconomic effect and emphasise the need for a One Health perspective. The results also stress how improved data collection at the community level is crucial for improved assessments of its effect.

Geostatistical modelling enables efficient safety assessment for mass drug ...

Olatunji Johnson et al., PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases

Considering the serious adverse events that occur in individuals with high intensity of Loa loa parasite when being treated with ivermectin during the MDA program for the elimination of onchocerciasis, there is need for a comprehensive, safe and cost-effective strategy to delineate village or communities that are safe for MDA. In this study, we propose a hybrid strategy that uses information from the Loa antibody rapid test and the LoaScope diagnostic test to delineate whether an area is safe for MDA

How Can “Community Voices” from Qualitative Research Illuminate ...

Marcellus Forh Mbah and Linda A. East, Sustainability

The SDGs are subject to extensive monitoring and research at the national, regional, and global levels using quantitative data sets. In contrast, this scoping review considered the contribution of qualitative research studies published in 2021, utilizing data collected from local, place-based community participants. . . The “voices” of community participants highlight tensions and challenges affecting the implementation of the SDGs. Reviewing this body of research as a whole identified opportunities to strengthen future qualitative research that will further illuminate progress towards the SDGs.

Population-based assessment of factors influencing antibiotic prescribing ...

Chia-En Lien, Yiing-Jenq Chou, Yi-Jung Shen, Theodore Tsai and Nicole Huang , PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases

Significant differences in antibiotic prescribing practices were observed among physicians in outpatient settings but not in inpatient settings.

‘Like something eating your skin’: the neglected tropical disease ...

Sophie Foggin and Grace Brennan, The Telegraph

For researchers, leishmaniasis is more than just a public health issue – it’s the lens that magnifies Colombia’s working conditions that expose sufferers, including vulnerable migrants, to the disease.


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One Health: Approach for action against neglected tropical diseases 2021-2030
March 16, 2022
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October 4-5, 2022
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November 8-10, 2022