The current state of knowledge on dracunculiasis: a narrative review of a rare neglected disease

Infez Med. 2023 Dec 1;31(4):500-508. doi: 10.53854/liim-3104-9. eCollection 2023.ABSTRACTDracunculiasis (Guinea Worm Disease) is a chronic disease that is primarily found in the arid and poor areas of our planet where water supply systems consist of open wells. This parasitic disease is transmitted to humans not only through the consumption of water contaminated with crustaceans harbouring larvae of Dracunculus medinensis, but also through the ingestion of paratenic (frogs) or transport hosts (fish). The natural progression of the disease is caused by adult worms invading connective tissues, leading to blistering and ulceration of the extremities, approximately one year after infection. In 1986, the Guinea Worm Eradication Program (GWEP) was launched and since then, the incidence of the disease has been reduced by over 99%. Indeed, the most recent global report from 2022 shows only 13 cases of human dracunculiasis worldwide, the lowest annual incidence ever reported. The new found knowledge of potential animal reservoirs and the recent discovery of possible edible paratenic hosts could pose challenges to the future eradication of this debilitating disease. Therefore, attempts to eradicate this parasitosis should not be postponed. Intensive research is needed in this neglected area of medicine, now that the goal is within reach.PMID:38075414 | PMC:PMC10705854 | DOI:10.53854/liim-3104-9
Source: Infezioni in Medicina - Category: Infectious Diseases Authors: Source Type: research