Neglected Tropical Diseases News Releases

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.