East Africa: Long-Term Mass Drug Treatment Can Eliminate River Blindness - Study
[ASTMH]New research provides the first evidence in East Africa that long-term community-based drug treatment alone can interrupt transmission of onchocerciasis, a parasitic disease commonly known as river blindness. The study finds that after eight years (beginning in 1998) of treating residents annually with the anti-worming medicine ivermectin, followed by six years of semi-annual treatment with the drug, there is no evi (Source: AllAfrica News: Health and Medicine)
Source: AllAfrica News: Health and Medicine - May 21, 2013 Category: African Health Source Type: news

15 thoughts on eliminating neglected tropical diseases
We summarise the points made by a live chat panel on how the global health community can work towards eliminating NTDsDr Paul Emerson, trachoma control programme director, The Carter Centre, Atlanta, USANTDs aren't as remote or obscure as many think: Trachoma and worms used to be endemic to the US and Europe, but were eliminated through improvements in hygiene, sanitation and access to medical care. NTDs still affect billions of people in the world, so the global NTD conversation needs to focus on how and why NTDs are keeping the bottom billion at the bottom.Build local support by involving community leaders: Involving tru...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - May 20, 2013 Category: Science Authors: Anna Scott Tags: Global health Guardian Professional Infectious diseases Pharmaceuticals industry Malaria and infectious diseases Vaccines and immunisation Health policy Editorial Global development professionals network Source Type: news

May research highlights from American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
(Burness Communications) These are AJTMH Top-line research highlights: 1) New Rapid Diagnostic Test for Worm Infection Provides Substantial Improvement Over Current Standard According to New African Field Study. 2. a) In a First for East Africa, Scientists Provide Detailed Evidence that Onchocerciasis (River Blindness) May Be Eliminated After 14 Years of Long-term Mass Drug Treatment. 2. b) Onchocerciasis (River Blindness) Could Make Comeback in Northwestern Uganda if Annual Drug Administrations to Fight Parasitic Disease Are Stopped, New Study Shows. (Source: EurekAlert! - Infectious and Emerging Diseases)
Source: EurekAlert! - Infectious and Emerging Diseases - May 20, 2013 Category: Infectious Diseases Source Type: news

Big pharma on board for Africa mission
Simon Bush of Sightsavers has dedicated his career to eradicating diseases such as river blindness     (Source: The Irish Times - Health)
Source: The Irish Times - Health - May 7, 2013 Category: Consumer Health News Source Type: news

John Moores gives $2 million to Scripps Research to develop river blindness field test
(Scripps Research Institute) Philanthropist, businessman and community leader John Moores has given the Scripps Research Institute approximately $2 million to fund the development of a new field test for Onchocerciasis, or river blindness, a parasitic infection that affects tens of millions of people in Africa, Latin America and other tropical regions. (Source: EurekAlert! - Medicine and Health)
Source: EurekAlert! - Medicine and Health - March 20, 2013 Category: Global & Universal Source Type: news

A Step Closer To Explaining How Long-Term Infections Occur: Immune Finding Aids Quest For Vaccines To Beat Tropical Infections
Scientists are a step closer to developing vaccines for a range of diseases that affect 200 million people, mainly in tropical south-east Asia, Africa and Central America. Researchers studying infections caused by parasitic worms - which can lead to diseases such as elephantiasis and river blindness - have shown how these can shut down a part of the immune system that might otherwise fight sickness. Preventing this immune reaction enables the infection to persist, causing chronic illness... (Source: Health News from Medical News Today)
Source: Health News from Medical News Today - March 18, 2013 Category: Consumer Health News Tags: Tropical Diseases Source Type: news

Potential Diagnostic Test For River Blindness Infection
Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have found a telltale molecular marker for Onchocerciasis or "river blindness," a parasitic infection that affects tens of millions of people in Africa, Latin America and other tropical regions. The newly discovered biomarker, detectable in patients' urine, is secreted by Onchocerca volvulus worms during an active infection. The biomarker could form the basis of a portable, field-ready test with significant advantages over current diagnostic methods... (Source: Health News from Medical News Today)
Source: Health News from Medical News Today - February 27, 2013 Category: Consumer Health News Tags: Eye Health / Blindness Source Type: news

River Blindness Revealed in Urine
New diagnostic test could improve treatment of debilitating disease (Source: ScienceNOW)
Source: ScienceNOW - February 26, 2013 Category: Science Source Type: news

Eliminating 'river blindness'
A tropical disease called "river blindness" affects 18 million people worldwide, but most are in Africa. Efforts are ongoing to eliminate the disease in several countries. (Source: CNN.com - Health)
Source: CNN.com - Health - February 4, 2013 Category: Consumer Health News Source Type: news

Fighting river blindness
The machete blades turned red with heat in the fire that the rubber workers built on a Liberia plantation, Thomas Unnasch remembers from a visit in the 1980s. (Source: WDSU.com - Health)
Source: WDSU.com - Health - February 3, 2013 Category: Consumer Health News Source Type: news

With river blindness, 'you never sleep'
A tropical disease called "river blindness" affects 18 million people worldwide, but most are in Africa. Efforts are ongoing to eliminate the disease in several countries. (Source: CNN.com - Health)
Source: CNN.com - Health - February 2, 2013 Category: Consumer Health News Source Type: news

Fight against river blindness is successful and inexpensive
A relatively inexpensive program set up to combat river blindness has resulted in major health improvements in Africa, shows a new study. The study shows that US $250 million helped cure or prevent the major symptoms of onchocerciasis in millions of people. (Source: ScienceDaily Headlines)
Source: ScienceDaily Headlines - February 1, 2013 Category: Science Source Type: news

African Programme for Onchocerciasis Control 1995-2015: Model-estimated health impact and cost
(Public Library of Science) A relatively inexpensive program set up to combat river blindness has resulted in major health improvements in Africa, shows a study conducted by Erasmus University Medical Center researchers. The study, due to be published Jan. 31 in PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases, shows that US $250 million helped cure or prevent the major symptoms of onchocerciasis in millions of people. In collaboration with the Management of the African Programme for Onchocerciasis Control (APOC), the researchers calculated the health impact of APOC. (Source: EurekAlert! - Infectious and Emerging Diseases)
Source: EurekAlert! - Infectious and Emerging Diseases - January 31, 2013 Category: Infectious Diseases Source Type: news

Neglected tropical diseases: mapping occurrence and tracking control
Mobile and mapping technologies can play a key role in controlling NTDs, but more effort is required to put them into the hands of frontline workersGPS-enabled smart phones, satnavs and Google maps provide a wealth of data on geographical locations and the things we are interested in. Such geographical richness is not readily available to programmes that tackle neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) – a group of chronic and disabling diseases that mainly occur in the tropics.The recent Global Burden of Disease (GBD) study estimated that NTDs account for only 1% of disability-adjusted life years worldwide. This aggregate ...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - January 30, 2013 Category: Science Tags: Blogposts Guardian Professional Infectious diseases Malaria and infectious diseases Health Society Global development professionals network Science Source Type: news

More Funding Needed For Tropical Diseases, WHO Says
Tropical diseases that were once overlooked, are now receiving more attention from pharmaceutical companies and the government, but also require more funding and innovation. Diseases that are uncommon in the U.S. such as: lymphatic filariasis (elephantiasis) onchocerciasis (river blindness) schistosomiasis (a parasite) soil-transmitted helminthiasis (intestinal worms) ...can cause many deaths and complicate lives in underdeveloped nations... (Source: Health News from Medical News Today)
Source: Health News from Medical News Today - January 17, 2013 Category: Consumer Health News Tags: Tropical Diseases Source Type: news

Somewhat less neglected tropical diseases
A year on from the unprecedented gathering of Big Pharma bosses in London, where they promised to help eliminate neglected tropical diseases, two reports suggest progress has indeed been made - but it needs to continueA year ago, the leaders of some of the world's biggest pharmaceutical companies arrived for a meeting in London, at Bill Gates' behest, and announced they would all do their bit towards fighting neglected tropical diseases, as I wrote here.Today, two reports give some idea of what has been achieved since, and it looks like a positive story. The companies have delivered 1.2 billion treatments for diseases wher...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - January 16, 2013 Category: Science Authors: Sarah Boseley Tags: Blogposts Infectious diseases guardian.co.uk World Health Organisation Global development Society Source Type: news

New global strategy targets raft of neglected tropical diseases - UN health agency
Dengue, leprosy, river blindness and guinea-worm disease are among 17 neglected tropical diseases now targeted by a new global strategy, supported by worldwide partners, that provides a steady supply of quality medications, the United Nations health agency said today. (Source: UN News Centre - Health, Poverty, Food Security)
Source: UN News Centre - Health, Poverty, Food Security - January 16, 2013 Category: Global & Universal Source Type: news

UCSF teams tackle childhood mortality and river blindness
(University of California - San Francisco) Two UCSF teams have received a total of $16 million from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to study new ways to significantly reduce childhood mortality and disease in developing nations. (Source: EurekAlert! - Medicine and Health)
Source: EurekAlert! - Medicine and Health - January 10, 2013 Category: Global & Universal Source Type: news

Feature Story: Mectizan donation program
Merck's commitment to an extraordinary partnership will continue "for as long as it's needed". (Source: Merck.com - Feature Stories About Merck)
Source: Merck.com - Feature Stories About Merck - October 9, 2012 Category: Pharmaceuticals Source Type: news