Recently published prevalence estimates of neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) in five Latin American countries—Bolivia, Cuba, Ecuador, Nicaragua, and Venezuela—could suggest a new direction for United States foreign policy in the region. (Editorial)

The UN will formulate ambitious Sustainable Development Goals for 2030, including one for health. Feasible goals with some quantifiable, measurable targets can influence governments. We propose, as a quatitative health target, “Avoid in each country 40% of premature deaths (under-70 deaths that would be seen in the 2030 population at 2010 death rates), and improve health care at all ages”. Targeting overall mortality and improved health care ignores no modifiable cause of death, nor any cause of disability that is treatable (or also causes many deaths).

Human African trypanosomiasis (HAT), also known as sleeping sickness, is a neglected disease that impacts 70 million people distributed over 1.55 million km2 in sub-Saharan Africa and includes at least 50% of the population of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Trypanosoma brucei gambiense accounts for more than 98% of the infections in central and West Africa, the remaining infections being from Trypanosoma brucei rhodesiense in East Africa. The parasites are transmitted to the hosts through the bite of an infected tsetse fly.

Dengue, a vector-borne viral disease of increasing global importance, is classically associated with tropical and sub-tropical regions around the world. Urbanisation, globalisation and climate trends, however, are facilitating the geographic spread of its mosquito vectors, thereby increasing the risk of the virus establishing itself in previously unaffected areas and causing large-scale epidemics. On 3 October 2012, two autochthonous dengue infections were reported within the Autonomous Region of Madeira, Portugal.

Guangzhou is sparing no effort to prevent the spread of dengue fever after 400 confirmed or suspected cases were reported there so far this year.

Question raised in Rajya Sabha on tropical diseases in India, 12/08/2014.

Overwhelmed west African nations called states of emergency on Thursday as the toll from a fast-spreading Ebola epidemic neared 1,000, and an elderly Spanish missionary was evacuated for treatment

Question raised in Rajya Sabha on action plan to fight vector borne diseases, 08/07/2014.

Using mathematical models to extend knowledge of pathogen transmission and recommend optimized control efforts is dependent on the accuracy of model parameters. The rate at which susceptible individuals become infected [the force of infection (FoI)] is one of the most important parameters, but due to data constraints it is often incorrectly assumed to be constant over time. Using a bespoke method for a 12-y longitudinal dataset of serotype-specific dengue virus (DENV) infections, we estimated time-varying, serotype-specific FoIs for all four DENV serotypes.

Infectious diseases of poverty, also labeled tropical diseases or neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) and caused by pathogenic agents (viruses, bacteria, fungi, and other parasites), are viciously more prevalent among poor people. Though being preventable for the most part in a cost-effective way, they are devastating. These are, to name a few, Chagas disease, schistosomiasis, malaria, leprosy, visceral leishmaniasis, lymphatic filariasis, Buruli ulcer, and onchocerciasis.

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