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Neglected Tropical Diseases
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October 2019

Emerging Parasitic Disease Mimics the Symptoms of Visceral Leishmaniasis in People

October 01, 2019

A new study published today online in Emerging Infectious Diseases suggests that transmission of a protozoan parasite from insects may also cause leishmaniasis-like symptoms in people. The parasite, however, does not respond to treatment with standard leishmaniasis drugs. The research was conducted by scientists at the Federal Universities of Sergipe and São Carlos, the University of São Paulo, and the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation, all in Brazil, along with investigators at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the U.S.

A female Anopheles albimanus mosquito taking a blood meal.

October 2018

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.

Scanning electron micrograph of Lassa virus budding off a Vero cell.

August 2018

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.

Map illustrating areas of primary human infections of Zaire ebolavirus and the density of road construction.

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 NIAID scientists.

Zika virus particles

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. 

Study volunteer receives an inoculation at Redemption Hospital in Monrovia, Liberia on the opening day of PREVAC, a Phase 2 Ebola vaccine trial in West Africa

November 2017

Cell Phone-Based Microscope Leads to Possible Strategy for Treating River Blindness

November 08, 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.

Adult Loa loa worm

November 2016

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.