Neglected Tropical Diseases News Releases

Genomic Analysis Offers Insight into 2018 Nigeria Lassa Fever Outbreak
October 17, 2018

A surge in Lassa fever cases in Nigeria in 2018 does not appear to be linked to a single virus strain or increased human-to-human transmission, according to a genomic analysis published in The New England Journal of Medicine. Multiple institutions collaborated on the report, including the African Center of Excellence for Genomics of Infectious Diseases at Redeemer’s University in Ede, Nigeria; the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard in Cambridge, Massachusetts; the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California; and Tulane University in New Orleans, among others.

Rapid Development in Central Africa Increases the Risk of Infectious Disease Outbreaks
August 22, 2018

The Central Africa region is experiencing rapid urbanization and economic growth, and infrastructure development. These changes, while generally positive and welcome, also make the region more vulnerable to explosive infectious disease outbreaks, according to an international group of scientists.

NIH Begins Clinical Trial of Live, Attenuated Zika Vaccine
August 16, 2018

Vaccinations have begun in a first-in-human trial of an experimental live, attenuated Zika virus vaccine developed by scientists at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health. The trial will enroll a total of 28 healthy, non-pregnant adults ages 18 to 50 at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Center for Immunization Research in Baltimore, Maryland, and at the Vaccine Testing Center at the Larner College of Medicine at the University of Vermont in Burlington. NIAID is sponsoring the trial. 

Experts Highlight Ebola Vaccine Progress and Suggest Next Steps
August 10, 2018

Despite promising advances, important scientific questions remain unanswered in the effort to develop a safe and effective Ebola vaccine, according to members of an international Ebola research consortium. In a Viewpoint published in The Lancet, the experts review the current field of Ebola vaccine candidates and clinical trials and highlight key gaps in knowledge that need to be addressed by future research. 

Cell Phone-Based Microscope Leads to Possible Strategy for Treating River Blindness
November 8, 2017

River blindness, or onchocerciasis, is a disease caused by a parasitic worm found primarily in Africa. The worm (Onchocerca volvulus) is transmitted to humans as immature larvae through bites of infected black flies. Symptoms of infection include intense itching and skin nodules. Left untreated, infections in the eye can cause vision impairment that leads to blindness. Mass distribution of ivermectin is currently used to treat onchocerciasis. However, this treatment can be fatal when a person has high blood levels of another filarial worm, Loa loa.

NIAID-Supported Scientists Sequence, Explore the Genome of the River Blindness Parasite
November 21, 2016

Scientists have sequenced the genome of the parasitic worm responsible for causing onchocerciasis—an eye and skin infection more commonly known as river blindness.

Mobile Phone Microscope Rapidly Detects Parasite Levels in Blood
May 6, 2015

Scientists from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the University of California, Berkeley, and colleagues have developed a mobile phone microscope to measure blood levels of the parasitic filarial worm Loa loa.