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Tropical Medicine Research Centers

The schistosome parasite
The schistosome parasite is one of several NTD pathogens that will be studied at the new Tropical Medicine Research Centers. Credit: National Cancer Institute

In 2012, NIAID funded eight Tropical Research Medicine Centers (TMRCs) to support research on neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) in endemic areas. The Centers are designed to facilitate research on the cause, diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of NTDs, and to create and sustain in-country research capacity.

NTDs, such as Chagas’ disease, leishmaniasis, and schistosomiasis, are a major problem in developing countries, where they contribute significantly to the overall burden of disease. NTDS often thrive in developing nations of the world where water quality and sanitation may not be sufficient to prevent disease transmission and access to health care may be limited. NTDs cause suffering and disability to hundreds of millions of people each year, according to the World Health Organization.

NTDs are caused by a wide range of organisms and can be transmitted by a variety of vectors, including mosquitoes, sand flies, black flies, and tsetse flies, and by contaminated water, food, and soil. It has become increasingly clear that NTDs contribute to poverty in countries where they are endemic. Interventions targeting NTDs could have a substantial impact not only on the disease burden but also on the overall economic capacity of the countries where these diseases predominate.
 

Last Updated July 30, 2012

Last Reviewed July 30, 2012